Wind

Daily Prompt: Wind

A word that the concept of wind brings to mind is harsh. 

Standing in the middle of a harshly windy day that takes the cliche of hair whipping across the face and contorts it, mutates it; the hair harried and gnawed at until it’s less hair than thick, rope-like braids harried around your face, less whipping across than slicing. Such a solid wall of harsh wind that it gives you a feeling akin to panic, as you suddenly realise that quite apart from sucking and stealing your breath away, you can’t catch your breath at all, and it seems absurd to you that something as invisible as air can abruptly become so violent. Standing so far from roads and houses and cars that all you can see is this world of wind, beginning as little flurries that skate along the tops of the ripples in the sea, creating pretty little puffs of foam, before suddenly digging in and scooping up this wave of water and slamming it against the cliffs below you so that all you can think again is harsh. Standing in this increasingly blinding world of buffeting wind, slicing at your face, dragging up droplets from the sea, hurling them to sting, sting, sting in your eyes, stealing your breath out of your lungs until you really start to panic and then

It stops.

The wind doesn’t drop, it vanishes. The sea is flat. The air is flat. There is nothing. Not a breath, not a feather of air brushing past you, nothing.  You stand in a world of nothing. The wind, the sound, the air, is gone. Nothing stretches ahead of you, across the whole world.

So much nothing that you wish for the storm to return.

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Kieran vs mascara

Kieran sassed me one too many times today, and his agreed upon forfeit was to let me put mascara on him, because, think me weird all you want, but I’ve always been fascinated with his incredibly, lusciously long eyelashes, and have been weirdly curious to see just how POW they got with mascara. So, here is Kieran, modelling a couple layers of “they’re real!” mascara from Benefit,  which just so happens to be my favourite brand. Behold:

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What strikes me, more than how incredibly long his eyelashes were, is why and how his (beautiful) eyes come out somewhat crossed in the pictures: 

 As if his fear of having this weird, sticky black stuff painted on his eyelashes is coming through in the pictures:

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He also experienced the fear when you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and realise you really should have taken your makeup off the night before.

He was not happy.

Just to reiterate how fabulous he looked, here he is batting those long eyelashes in true Disney-princess form:

‘Dorothy Must Die’ book review

Having finished my second year, I’ve officially finished all (most) of my course books, meaning I can relax, by reading other books. I picked this one:

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‘Dorothy Must Die’, up because I kind of wanted something a little more easygoing than ‘The True History of the Kelly Gang’ which I read for my course. This is Amazon’s summary:

‘The New York Times bestselling first book in a dark new series that reimagines the Oz saga, from debut author Danielle Paige.

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know? Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick—but even that’s crumbling. What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And—Dorothy must die.’

The idea being that Oz is completely reversed: Dorothy is evil and the Wicked Witches want to save the world. And while the whole assassin theme doesn’t exactly sound easygoing, the first couple of pages gave the idea that since Amy’s perspective was that of a high-school girl, the plot itself couldn’t be too dark. The first couple of pages I read in the bookshop when I was trying to make up my mind whether or not to buy it reinforced this idea and gave the impression of a really cool female character, with a sarcastic edge that I really liked. Normally I’m not a huge fan of fairytales being set in the real world, preferring old-fashioned fantasy which always seemed way more interesting than the backstreets of London, but I’ve only seen ‘The Wizard of Oz’ once and thought it would be kind of cool with a modern twist.

However. The plot was actually way darker than I thought; I did a blog a while ago on a book called ‘Only Ever Yours‘ which really creeped me out and which I’ve since donated to a charity shop rather than have it lying about the house to scare me. This felt kind of similar to that in the way that it seems pretty superficial at first, and then just casually strips that facade away to explore some pretty dark stuff. I thought it was going to be straight-up fairytale but the plot’s magical elements have been given a kind of steampunk twist that I hadn’t expected. Overall this book was awesome, but it left me kind of confused. The plot was incredible, it had the courage to completely remake an already present fantasy world in its own way, and did a fantastic job of introducing new characters in such a way that you almost forget they weren’t in the original. Instead of stumbling over itself trying to explain where these new characters were in the original Oz and drawing your attention to the problem, it leaves it to your imagination and transitions smoothly from old Oz to new Oz, with the idea that ‘Dorothy Must Die’ is exposing the lost history of Oz, and making you feel as if those characters were indeed in both all along. The pace of the book was also exceptional; there was literally something happening on every page and the first book alone has enough content to have covered a whole trilogy itself. Yet whilst the first pages did such a good job of creating the protagonist’s character, from that point onwards the characters are explored only briefly, leaving the reader with a pretty superficial impression of them. That was what really confused me about the book; the author clearly had an incredible imagination as the depth of the plot was outstanding, yet characters and scenery were given only the briefest of descriptions, and the reader has no more clue of the personalities of the people in the book past what they can glean from their conversations. I also picked up a few mistakes in the plot; only incredibly minor and not nearly enough to detract from the quality of the plot, but enough to break your concentration and bring you out of the story.

Overall I’d give it 3 stars out of 5:

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But I’d definitely recommend it, and not only because it’s not that often that you see someone completely remake an old classic in such a unique way. It was amazing to see how the author made an entirely new story whilst still keeping it completely aligned with the old, doing such justice to the original, yet making it completely relatable to modern readers. The plot was beautiful and whilst I would have liked there to be more depth to the characters, the story is so strong that you’re drawn in anyway. The story was a brilliant idea; you’ll never look at Dorothy the same way again, not to mention her squad:

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and once you’ve finished and compared it to the original, it leaves you kind of:

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Summer happenings part 2

The other reason I haven’t posted in ages is that I’ve been on HOLIDAYYYY

where me and Kieran learnt what it’s like to live as a cat, where all you do is eat, sleep, and sunbathe. It was bliss, literally:

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They made the mistake of unleashing us on the all inclusive food, and we just:

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The whole place was beautiful:

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covered with flowers:

I had a great time and, don’t know if you can tell, but so did Kieran:

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Hope everyone’s having a great summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety = anti psych up

There’s many different ways of feeling anxious; either the type where you feel like you’re drowning and being smothered at the same time but with no idea why or by what, or feeling breathless in a panic attack, or being scared all the time and not knowing why, or not being able to tell if your fears are rational or a result of your anxiety. There’s fixating on one tiny thing that isn’t an issue at all and proceeding to pick it apart for the next few hours, there’s asking the same question over and over to get clarification for your own anxiousness, there’s not being able to solve one problem so worrying about something else instead, and there’s worrying about the fact that you’ve got nothing to worry about because you’re worrying that it’s never happened before and you’re worrying you’ve forgotten something. There’s many more ways of feeling anxious.

Sometimes though, it feels more like an anti-pep talk, like the opposite of psyching up, the opposite of all those pep talks they have in American football and other sports, so instead of feeling like this:

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I thought it would be easier to draw how it feels, so I went ahead and drew my own explanation of how I thought it felt more like this:

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Summer Update

I haven’t posted in aaages, mostly because I’ve been bouncing between the two extremes of being either incredibly busy or amazingly lazy. Mostly busy. I got a (temporary) job, because I need funding for food over the summer, and instead of having the time to freak myself out about social anxiety like I’ve done with every other job I’ve ever had, I got called in straightaway and there was suddenly no time for that. Normally, they’ll show me how to do something, I’ll actually be able to do it, aaaand then Anxiety Brain takes over, and makes me acutely aware of the fact that I’m being observed, meaning we then instead have the awkward routine where I’ll fail to do whatever it is they’re teaching me to do, despite being able to do it, because somebody is watching me. However this job gave me no time for that, and while at first it meant that I felt like I might throw up, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because apparently when I didn’t have the chance to talk myself out of something, I could actually do it. This place was so crazy busy that instead of having the time to teach me how they want me to do something, and then watching me do it, they threw me straight in and I picked it up on the go. Instead of thinking about something enough to freak myself out, I just went ahead and did it, and I really liked it. It turns out that this method works wonders against Anxiety Brain. Like with answering the phone: instead of “show me you know how to answer the phone our way” which leads to ‘oh no, they’re watching me do it, I know how to answer the phone but not when they’re watching me! oh my god it’s ringing and they’re just staring at me, pick it up pick it up pick it up’ suddenly forget how to hold a phone, ‘wait what do you say again’ suddenly forget how to speak English, ‘oh my god how do you say hello, wait what place am I working at again ohhhh I didn’t say anything for ages I just just hang up and pretend it was a wrong number’.

Instead of all that, the phone rang before I had a chance to do anything, and what d’you know, it turns out I CAN do things. I thought all this nervousness was really obvious to everybody else, but somebody told me recently that I actually come across as confidant.

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This had never occurred to me. I thought my overbearing awkwardness was clear to everybody. I had about 2 seconds of thinking ‘ooh, that’s quite nice’ before Anxiety Brain kicked in like clockwork and it became ‘oh no, I thought everyone knew I was quiet because I’m shy, what if they thought I was just rude

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Seriously, Anxiety Brain pisses me off more than anyone else. BUT. This job, whilst being really scary, turned out to be pretty great for me: better conversational skills, boost in confidence, managing to pass myself off as a regular human- the whole hog. I actually enjoyed myself too.

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Anyways, that’s part 1 of what I’ve been doing, hope everyone’s having a good summer!