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My thoughts on “Mother 3”

MOTHER 3 is a powerful game that shows themes of feudalism versus technocracy, Darwinistic natural selection, individualism and conformity, and nature versus technology.

MOTHER 3 begins in Tazmily Village, a utopian paradise where humans and nature live in harmony. One day, an army of Pig-like soldiers invades the area and transforms the local wildlife into mechanical abominations, setting off a chain of events that eventually changes the tranquil lives of the town’s inhabitants forever. As the player, you play as multiple characters through eight distinct chapters to make sense of this strange and changing world.

The chief villain Porky and his Pigmask Army’s childish disregard and active malevolence towards nature drives much of the game’s conflict. In the prologue, the Pigmask Army sets fire to the forest for no discernible reason. Chapter 3 has Fassad, Porky’s chief underling, blackmail and torture the player’s avatar, a monkey named Salsa. Throughout Chapter 5, 7, and 8, the player journeys through a host of laboratories where scientists brainwash and experiment on various creatures. The very logo of the game sports this motif of unnatural melding – a mix of wood and metal, the organic and inorganic rammed together to elicit feelings of unease.

MOTHER 3 is about the corruption of utopia. The arrival of the Porky and his Army sets off a family tragedy and a chain of events that forever transforms Tazmily village. Over the span of three short years, rapid modernization of the town sends people to work at factories, creates a caste of disposable slaves, and transforms authentic happiness into a manufactured commodity. Those marginalized by or opposed to such radical change are exiled to the town’s margins or struck down by lightning bolts generated from a distant tower of judgement.

The isolation and dehumanization of modernity; the homogenization of individual thought and desire; the emptiness and ennui associated with consumerism – these are all elements expressed in MOTHER 3. By the end of the game, Tazmily becomes a ghost town, with its inhabitants relocated to the glamorous but ultimately shallow metropolis of New Pork City.

MOTHER 3 is also a bildungsroman, a tale of a child who matures into adulthood. Lucas, one of the main protagonists, is forced to grow up too fast in the wake of his mother’s sudden death, his brother’s lingering disappearance, and his father’s ensuing depression. From Chapter 4 on, the player guides Lucas and his friends to overcome enemies and challenges, eventually becoming strong enough to face Fassad and Porky.

A Unique Literary Telling

What I love about MOTHER 3 is that the entire package exists as a contradiction. Itoi’s insistence to use the videogame medium to tell a story that is structured like a play, complete with multiple acts and protagonists. The insertion of surreal and bizarre humour into serious moments. The fearless reliance of musical motifs or wordless silence to carry the emotional weight of pivotal scenes.  The choice of child-like visuals to convey a narrative steeped in adult matters of grief, loss, and the inevitability of change.

Out of these deliberate clashes emerges MOTHER 3’s ability to provoke and evoke. MOTHER 3 can make you laugh out loud one moment and then tear up the next. It is completely self-aware but is strong on warmth and whimsy. Its world is strange but is never weird for the sake of weird (well, almost never.) The story revolves around mature themes but never takes itself too seriously. The game constantly subverts expectations, and it is out of these acts of subversion that the game’s depth and nuances of thought shines through. Tragic, absurd, maddening, funny, poignant – MOTHER 3 can be all of these things for a player. It resists being distilled into the neat simple summaries like the ones above – a key characteristic of literary work.

Interestingly, it is less Lucas’ courage but more his childish innocence, retained through a traumatic journey in adulthood, that proves instrumental to the story’s conclusion. In the last scene, Lucas conveys his will towards the reconstruction of a broken world. While there is no going back to the false paradise of Tazmily and the outcome is not shown as the credits roll, the player is assured that the future, guided by Lucas’ innate kindness and empathy, is a hopeful one.

 

 

Mixed Berry Cloud jellies!

Way back in November, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It was a lot of fun, and for the first time, I won the challenge! I was so proud!

As fun as it was, there were some stressful moments. I needed support and someone to keep me on track, so I participated with my local writers guild, The Silverleaf Writers Guild. One week, a potluck was organized, and as a lover of all things food, I was excited! I decided to bring some berries, sliced cheese and crackers. When I arrived however, I was surprised to see a table mostly comprised of junk food! As delicious as it was, I felt sleepy afterwards; not something you want when you’re trying to write! This inspired me to create this segment: Healthy Recipes For Writers. I know how easy grabbing a bag of chips is instead of walking away from your project and making something healthy. So I did some research to find healthy recipes, and found some nice stuff!

This week’s segment is Mixed Berry Cloud Jellies, a healthy yogurt and fruit snack that you can eat with your hands with minimal mess! It also has some nice benefits, which is include:

  • An excellent sources of calciumpotassiumprotein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12.
  • Probiotic cultures and high protein
  • High levels of phytochemicals — those naturally occurring nutrients that help protect cells from damage
  • The mixed berries are good for brain health!
  • Lower blood pressure and heart health
  • And more!

Cloud Jellies

prep 

cook 

total 

author juliette francois

Recipe from kidgredients.com.au

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pureed fresh or frozen mango, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana, etc (note: the more acidic fruit do not work, like kiwi or pineapple)
  • 2 tbps lime juice
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2-3 tbps raw honey or maple syrup (I used maple syrup)
  • 4 tbps gelatin
  • 1 cup of plain full fat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt for added protein!)
  • ¼ cup kombucha, filtered water or fresh juice (note: I used apple juice, and simply added less sweetener)

  1. Puree fruit until smooth. At this point you can strain to remove any seeds (berries) if desired.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small pot and sprinkle the gelatin across the top. Allow to sit for 5 or so minutes so that gelatin can start to absorb the liquid.
  3. Over a very low heat, slowly whisk to dissolve the gelatin.
  4. Once dissolved, pour mixture into a small tray or moulds to set in the fridge. If in tray, slice into squares and store in an airtight container in fridge.

They turned out awesome! They turned out delicious, and not messy at all! I was nervous putting the mixture on the stove, so I looked it up and learned that if you mix the gelatin with water on the side until it dissolves, you can then add it to the remaining ingredients and place them in the container or moulds of choice. I personally haven’t tried it though, and will add the results here once I do!

Did you try it for yourself? What flavors will you try? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

 

What is “Selcouth”?

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It’s hard to be different. For as long as I can remember, I’d wake up every day asking myself why I couldn’t just blend in, wishing I could fit in. I would think about the concept of “normal”; what it is, why it matters, who gets to define it. This is a concept I’ve struggled with my whole life, and still haunts me today.

But what is normal, exactly? Throughout the years, I learned that in order for something to be “normal”, it needs to conform to some kind of standard. We say it’s normal because it’s what we expect, what we’re used to, whatever is typical or average. Here’s two ways to measure “normal”:

First, the “average human experience“, which is if it’s normal compared to a measurable, scientific standard — on average do most people feel this way, am I an outlier, am I close to the norm but still a bit outside it, etc.

Second, the “socially expected behaviors and norms“, which is if it’s normal in the social sense — am I a total weirdo, is there something wrong with me, is something about me socially unacceptable, other people are probably like this but what if they’re not, and so on.

No one wants to be called average. A lot of us have melancholy streaks. We’re lonely and very sensitive, probably more sensitive than everyone else who seem so… normal.

 

After years of wanting to be called normal, I’ve finally given up on that, and would rather be called “selcouth” instead. This word originates from Old English selcūþseldcūþ (“unusual, unwonted, little known, unfamiliar, novel, rare”), from seld- (“rarely”) + cūþ (“known”); equivalent to seld +‎ couth.

Selcouth, as the picture says, means “rarely known; unusual; uncommon; strange; wonderful”.  I’m not someone who likes to be vulnerable and would rather keep my true self deep inside. For years, I tried to create a mask and hide my true self in order to be perceived as normal. For the most part, it worked. As I sank deeper and deeper into the facade, I began to lose myself. After we moved, I vowed to start fresh, and let out my true side. I drew people in, but I also lost some. It was hard, as I have a hard time with rejection, but in the end it worked out, because I was now surrounded by a group of people who care about the real me.

This word isn’t used much, but it does feature in some written work, such as:

In poetry:
Then forth they rush’d: by Leader’s tide,
A selcouth sight they see—
A hart and hind pace side by side,
As white as snow on Fairnalie.

“Thomas the Rhymer” by Sir Walter Scott
In literature:
A strange day and a selcouth sight for auld een.
“Wilson’s Tales of the Borders and of Scotland” by Various

Our need to be “normal” makes us attempts to project a “put together” image to others.  We spend significant amounts of energy in “impression management”, or wanting others to think highly of us, to like us.  Being esteemed as a worthwhile person is one reason why reaching out to help others can have such a powerful effect on us: it increases our connections to them, affirms our value as an agent of change, and stimulates a greater sense of belonging.

The intense need to be liked  is perhaps best illustrated when considering its opposite.  Being rejected by or rebuffed by others is, for most of us, quite an unpleasant experience.  Even on a good day, it can lead to a “blue” mood; on a very bad day, it may elicit suicidal feelings in some people.

Sometimes it takes a brave person to say, “Just because all these people act like this is okay doesn’t mean it is.” That person opens the door for others to start questioning and redefining what society says is normal. It might be tough, and you might encounter some resistance — especially from yourself, when you wonder if you deserve to get help. But here’s the good news; you do! You deserve to feel better. All of us do.

 

Injecting Authenticity in your Writing

Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen, or your current unfinished project.

A fear sets in. A fear of making mistakes, fear that what you wrote would sound stupid, fear that you’re writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.

You try to compensate for your writing fears by using stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” that you know what you’re talking about.
 

This happens to a lot of writers. This has happened to me.

It can easily backfire, as this can sometimes create unfair judgment, and make you and your work sound pretentious. By not being true to yourself, your writing will suffer.

Wanting desperately to sound smart in my writing, I took a Creative Writing Class in high school. Well, I took it because I loved writing, but that was a big concern of mine at the time. In one of her lessons, the teacher gave me some pretty awesome advice.

“Write the way you talk.”

I was baffled! It was such a simple, yet liberating thought! That one piece of advice (and a safe place to exercise this new discovery) helped me break free of my fears of not being “smart enough” to publish my work, and allowed me to adopt a more relaxed writing style. No more using large, unnecessary words just to try and impress the reader! I was determined at that point on to relax, be myself, and write.

Although it is important to write in your own voice, I would like to mention that writing the way you talk doesn’t mean write poorly. Please be aware of grammar, sentence structure, continuity, and all those other awesome things that create a well written piece! What this allows to do is helps break down those mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keeps us from being a more engaging and productive writer.

*DISCLAIMER: I am in no way a writing expert. The following advice is what I learned in school and has worked for me, but may not work for others.*

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding pompous:

IMAGINE YOURSELF HAVING A CHAT WITH A TRUSTED FRIEND

Good writing is like a conversation between the writer and the reader. So when you’re writing, think about how you would explain your topic to a close friend who was sitting next to you!

If you were having a conversation with that person,

  • What words would you use?
  • What would you talk about first?
  • What examples would you give to help them understand your topic?
  • What questions might they ask?

Approaching your writing this way will help you write a copy that’s more informal and conversational in tone, which better engages your audience.

RECORD YOURSELF TALKING ABOUT YOUR TOPIC

Not sure what you sound like in a conversation? Try recording yourself talking about your topic! (I understand that this can be daunting! It was (and still is) weird hearing my own voice, but it really helps!)

TAKE A DEEP BREATH, RELAX, AND JUST BE YOURSELF

By writing the way you talk, you can’t help injecting a little of your personality into what you write. After all, you’ll be writing in your own voice, and a tone that makes you seem more human than textbook.

USE THE SAME WORDS THAT YOU DO IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE

If you write the way you talk, you’ll be more inclined to use common, everyday words that you would normally use in conversation.

So keep your writing simple and clear without artificially inflated language. A good rule of thumb is: if the average person would need a dictionary to know what your word means, then chances are you need a different word.

TOSS OUT THE “RULE BOOK” AND JUST START WRITING

If all the rules about grammar, writing styles, active versus passive voice, and punctuation are adding to your insecurities about writing, put the “rule book” away for now and just write. Focus on getting the main points of your idea down in your first draft.

Once you’ve done that, you can easily go back and edit your writing.

  • Do you notice any obvious errors?
  • Is there anything that could be rearranged to bring more clarity to what you wrote?
    • If so, now’s the time to fix it along with any grammatical, spelling, or other writing problems.

After you’ve made those corrections, leave your work to sit overnight and look at it again in the morning with fresh eyes. Once you do that, it’s easier to see if anything can be done to make your work even better.

ENLIST THE HELP OF A CLOSE FRIEND TO KEEP YOU HONEST

Want to make sure that what you write actually sounds like you and not someone else?

Enlist the help of a close friend. Have them read your writing, and tell you if it sounds like someone else wrote it. This will help keep you true to yourself, and will force you to be authentic with your writing.

READ WHAT YOU WRITE OUT LOUD

This is an excellent first editing test. Reading what you write out loud makes awkward sentences and bad punctuation become obvious, because as you read, you’ll naturally stumble over the parts that need to be fixed.

So as you read your writing aloud, pay attention to those places that tend to trip you up; they may need some additional work.

 

Was this article helpful? How do you inject authenticity in your work? 🙂

My thoughts on “Milk And Honey” by Rupi Kaur

I’ve renewed my poetic side a few months back, and haven’t look back! As much as I love to write short stories and work on my novels, poems just hold a very special place in my heart.  It’s a way to merge language and symbolism, and is a worthy expression of emotion, or deep feelings, and aesthetics, or a sense of what is beautiful about the world. I’ve seen been on the lookout for poetic books to grace my bookshelf, and had heard a lot of good things about “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. I decided to purchase a copy, and am very glad that I did.

Rupi Kaur, born October 5th 1992, is an Indian-Canadian poet, writer, illustrator and performer. She has published a collection of poetry and prose Milk and Honey in November 2014. Her second book (which I also read and loved) titled “The Sun and Her Flowers” was published in October 2017.

This heartfelt collection of poems shows vulnerability, startling bluntness, and a pure and raw story. It’s a style that intrigues me, but I often don’t have the guts to admit that I enjoy this type of writing. I think it’s because it makes me feel less alone with my own intense emotions. I was expecting an inspirational slightly tacky read, but instead I found myself in many of those pages.

Rupi Kaur breaks her book into four parts; the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing.

The hurting depicts the author’s experiences with sexual assault and the struggles of overcoming family issues.

Image result for milk and honey by rupi kaur the hurting

The loving is a more uplifting read. The poems are sweet and idealistic. These are the ones that couples want to read to remind themselves of why they are still together.

Image result for milk and honey by rupi kaur the loving

The breaking returned us to a darker place in Rupi’s life. Any girl that has ever endured a break up after a long term relationship could find a relatable poem in this section. I found myself back in high school trying to get over someone not worth mentioning here that broke my heart. While these poems were sad, they were also very realistic and relatable.

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The last section, the healing, accomplished exactly what I think the author was aiming for. These poems empowered women to embrace themselves and to value who they are regardless of the turmoil they have endured. I highly recommend this section to anyone yearning for some comfort.

Image result for milk and honey by rupi kaur banner

Overall I really enjoyed this compilation of poems! It was powerful, and expressed a lot of what I have been too scared to share. This book taught me that it’s okay to be an imperfect creature, and that I should embrace who I am and compromise my beliefs for anyone. I highly recommend this book to people who are struggling and need to know they are not alone.

What were your thoughts on “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur? Let me know what you think! 🙂

Poetry – “Quantulum”

 

I never had an easy combination.
The truth is such a systematic error,
You and me without a new relation,
Haunted by the fear of constant pressure.

Being taken by an old relation,
Looking at the wind velocity,
Giving me a new consideration,
The love of my inner biology.

Recover from whoever you despise,
Better yet protected than face fear.
An eye upon a face without replies,
Never see the way of being clear.

A better way of doing anything,
I never could forgive or even try!
The breath of silence changes everything,
Nothing touches me without reply.

Another way of doing anything.
Even see the people everywhere,
Never ever really had a fling,
The very thought of making you aware…

Is such an awfully wonderful thing to talk about.
Your attention makes my heart sting,
Walking through the world with plenty of doubt,
Feeling like a part of anything.

Maybe then again without a doubt!
I never thought of doing anything,
Nothing ever felt the same without,
You reminded me of everything.

A little something totally sincere.
Whether you believe or justified,
A better way of going through the clear,
Never ever really satisfied.

Bookish Item Review – “The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain”

I love writing activities. I love coming up with new ideas, and helping others overcome their writer’s block and other writing related woes. When I stumbled upon “The Writer’s Toolbox”, I got super excited!

The creator of this game is Jamie Cat Callan. She is a master teaching artist with the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. She has taught writing at N.Y.U., Yale University, U.C.L.A. Extension, Fairfield University, and Wesleyan University. She is also the author of three novels for young adults and a book on relationships for women. So, long story short, slightly more qualified than I.

Inside “The Writer’s Toolbox”, there’s a small 60 page book which begins with a discussion of “The Power of the Narrative”, then goes on to describe how to use the rest of the box and concludes with a lot more discussion about story, success stories from those who have already used the toolbox and recommendations for its use. It’s a quick read with additional resources and contains tons of quotes from writing books that’s probably cluttering your writer’s reference shelf.

In addition to the book, the box contains three writing games along with a three-minute hourglass. It does not include a notebook and pen, but come on. What writer doesn’t have writing material piled up in their home?

The three games are the Sixth Sense Cards, the Protagonist Game and The Sticks Game. Each of these games has its own power and, depending on your writing style, I’m sure you’ll be able to pick your favorite.

 The Sixth Sense Cards

The way this game works is simple: you shuffle the deck, pick three cards, place them face down and then write for three minutes on each one, in turn. It may not come away with a sequential story, but it will come away with interesting and beautiful news ways of describing the ordinary because the game “forced you” to focus your writing on this one sense for three long writing minutes.

 

The Protagonist Game

Every story needs a protagonist. And there’s a few things they need to do. They have to want something. There has to be something that gets in the protagonist’s way, and, ultimately the protagonist has things to do. The fun thing about the protagonist game is that it figures out all of that stuff for you. In “The Writer’s Toolbox”, you’ll find four “palettes” you can spin to randomly select your:

  • protagonist
  • goals
  • obstacles, and
  • action

 

 

The Sticks Game

There are three different types of Popsicle sticks in the box. They can be used together, or each on their own. The “FS” sticks are the “first sentence” sticks. You grab one at random, write it word for word at the top of the page, turn the hourglass over and write for three minutes (or longer, if you’d like!).

The “NS” sticks are the “non sequitur” sticks. You use these sticks to bring in an interesting transition to take your story/poem/screenplay (in other words, whatever you are writing) in a completely new direction. You can use these with the FS sticks by selecting one after three to six minutes of writing.

Finally, the “LS” sticks are known as the “last straw” sticks. As Callan put it in her book, “The Last Straw is a terrific exercise for writers who tend to avoid conflict and tension in their work” (p. 16). Similar to the FS and NS sticks, when you feel it is time (usually either three or six minutes after writing on your NS), you randomly select a LS stick to prompt you for the last hurrah.

Each of these sticks has the potential to pull a story in directions you might not have thought of. Working with these sticks truly helps build writing muscles!

What do I think?

I enjoyed this very much! I’ll be bringing this to my next writing group meeting. I love the variety of activities, and they’re all a lot of fun! I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this to play at your next game night. 🙂

What is ”Pulchritudinous”?

Pulchritudinous, or “pul-kruh-TOO-di-nuhs.” Wow, now that’s a mouthful. This 15-letter, 5-syllable beast was a word I used recently in one of my poems, and when my significant other read it, he looked up from my notebook, one eyebrow arched, and said ”Seriously? What does pulchritinous even mean?” I smiled sweetly, promptly corrected his pronunciation since spelling and grammar mistakes are a pet peeve of mine, and explained what it meant. (Side note: I make mistakes too! I don’t claim to be perfect in that regard.) He sighed, and said I should just say ”pretty”. ”It would be a lot simpler!” he argued.

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Me in school. Needless to say, I wasn’t very popular…

While he definitely had a point, I also stand firm in the belief of learning new things every day, namely new words. I want to expand my vocabulary to one day have people question and think it plausible that I have a Master’s degree in English. The answer is no, of course, but one can certainly dream. *Writes on bucket list*

While I used the word ”pulchritudinous” in my poem, it’s actually an adjective derived from the word ”pulchritude”, an admittedly easier word to pronounce. It’s actually been used since the 1400s!

Even though it looks (and sounds) like it would describe a disease or a bad attitude, pulchritudinous actually describes a person of breathtaking, heartbreaking beauty.

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Let’s be honest: opportunities to use this word in casual conversation are probably pretty slim. If you can find a way, I will be impressed. And then probably hate you for being a smarty-pants.

This word may win the award for least-beautiful word meaning ”beautiful”, which, as I said earlier, is only used to describe people. So, you can’t say ”Wow, what a pulchritudinous looking flower!”, but you can say ”Wow, check out that girl at the bar! She’s pulchritudinous!” But, you might get some looks for talking that way. And people walking away from you because they don’t know what to think. Side note, if you find someone who sticks around, they’re meant to be in your life. Words are power! Wow, my typing gets a lot slower when I write this word.

How is this not considered pulchritudinous??

It’s a descendant of the Latin adjective pulcher, which means “beautiful.” Pulcher hasn’t exactly been a wellspring of English terms, but it did give us both pulchritude and pulchritudinous, an adjective meaning “attractive” or “beautiful.” The verb pulchrify (a synonym of beautify), the noun pulchritudeness (same meaning as pulchritude), and the adjective pulchrous (meaning “fair or beautiful”) are other pulcher offspring.

Did you know about the word ”Pulchritudinous” before reading this post? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂 If you didn’t, then I’m glad to have helped you learn something new today!

 

The Stages of Attraction

Ah, love. Most readers enjoy a bit of romance or even romantic entanglement. They enjoy this because it reflects real life. Most people’s lives have some romance in them, and likes to see some romantic exchange in a novel. Romance, being (often) a big part of real life means it usually has a place in a novel. In order for a romance to be believable, it’s important to include subtle gestures and words to insinuate interest, flirting, desire and (gasp!) lust. We do this subconsciously in real life, so it stands to reason that it should be included in literature too!

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Both men and women display different subtle hints that they are interested in someone. This list below is a general rule, and doesn’t mean that it applies to everyone. Some women may display subtle gestures from the men’s list, and vice versa. This list is simply to help the creative flow, and to maybe help notice if that special someone likes you back! 😉 giphy13

Female Viewpoint

Interest

  • Body posture stiffening and possibly a visible intake of breath
  • Glancing down or away only to look back
  • A smile that spreads when on is caught ”looking”
  • Angling one’s body towards the other person
  • Pushing hair back from one’s face (tucking behind an ear, etc.)

Flirting

  • Asking about their interests and opinions
  • Leaning in or stepping closer, entering their personal space
  • Touching one’s face and hair while speaking
  • Varying the timbre of one’s voice to keep them listening
  • Fiddling with a necklace to draw their gaze there

Desire

  • Tilting the head to expose one’s neck
  • Lingering or suggestive touches (trailing fingers along their collar,etc.)
  • Gaze drifting between their eyes and lips
  • Wetting one’s lips
  • Trembling or one’s breath visibly hitching slightly

Lust

  • Yielding to their embrace, sliding arms around them
  • Vocalizing (breathing becoming rushed, emitting small moans or gasps)
  • Lifting one’s lips to be kissed
  • Touching their jawline, running fingers through their hair
  • Pulling at their clothes to touch their skin

 

Male Viewpoint

Interest

  • The body going still momentarily
  • Eye contact that sticks and then takes the whole body in
  • Shifting to display one’s chest and shoulders
  • Smiling and moving closer to engage
  • Placing hands near one’s pelvis (thumbs through belt loops, etc.)

Flirting

  • Offering jokes and light banter
  • Asking questions that grow more personal
  • ”Accidental touches” (leg bumps, hand brushing, etc.)
  • Active listening, watching other person’s lips
  • Mirroring body language

Desire

  • A gaze that explores and suggests
  • Active touches (stroking the other person’s arm,cupping a chin) and direct eye contact
  • Erasing personal distance (taking their hands, pulling them close)
  • Increased swallowing
  • Lips that are slightly parted

Lust

  • Fumbling with clothing that feels restrictive
  • Pulling the person in to claim, body-to-body contact
  • Kisses that test, then deepen and grow more urgent
  • Vocalizing (heavy breathing, whispering one’s desires)
  • Cupping the person’s neck, hands carving through the person’s hair

I hope this will help with your character and writing creations!

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This is how I show that I’m interested. Act fast though. before I eat it.

 

My thoughts on ”Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

Everybody has that one song that stirs intense emotions inside them, and encourages the body to move to the beat. I love to dance! It provides me with mental clarity and emotional stability. As someone who has a hard time expressing themselves, I find that dance is the way to do it when words are insufficient.

We all want to be understood, and I feel that if we could truly speak the words that describe our feelings, I can’t even begin to imagine how deep and powerful they would be. But unfortunately, those words never seem to come to us just right. Dance is the medium through which we show the world who we truly are and who we can be.

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How I feel when I dance. Legit.

”Footloose” is a classic. Very few people don’t know what it is, and whenever it’s played, there usually isn’t a rigid body in sight, myself included. One time, it played while I was out grocery shopping. Before my mind could question the odd song selection for a grocery store, my feet were tapping, my hips were swaying and my arms waved to the beat. For a moment, I forgot embarrassment and dignity. When that song came on, my body just needed to move. I wanted to have fun, and I didn’t care where I was. That is, until my significant other cleared his throat and said ”Umm, babe?”. I opened my eyes, and a woman with a shopping cart full of groceries and two young children glued to her were staring at me. The woman was looking at me disapprovingly, but the children had suppressed smiles. My face grew really hot, and I quickly exited the aisle.

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As embarrassing as that was, I don’t regret that moment. For a few seconds, I felt my worries slip away. I was transported out of that grocery store in to my own fantasy world where I made the rules, where all the girls were envious and all the boys wanted me. I felt powerful. And that’s why I’ll never stop dancing.

This song, I feel, has a pretty clear message; know your limits and let loose! Everyone has to work to get by, but if you don’t stop and enjoy yourself every once in a while, it will drive you crazy. The calls of different names in this songs signifies wanting everyone to join in on the fun, and show that we’re not alone. We’re unique individuals, but we’re very similar.

This may not be everyone’s interpretation of this song, and that’s okay. What’s great about art is that it’s open to interpretation, which then opens a ton of different points of view and possibilities!

FOOTLOOSE LYRICS

Been working so hard
I’m punching my card
Eight hours for what?
Oh, tell me what I got
I’ve got this feeling
That time’s just holding me down
I’ll hit the ceiling
Or else I’ll tear up this town
Now I gotta cut loose
Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees
Jack, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose
You’re playing so cool, obeying every rule
Deep way down in your heart
You’re burning, yearning for the some-somebody to tell you
That life ain’t passing you by
I’m trying to tell you
It will if you don’t even try
You’ll get by if you’d only cut loose
Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Ooh-whee, Marie, shake it, shake it for me
Whoah, Milo come on, come on let’s go
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose
You got to turn me around
And put your feet on the ground
Gotta take the hold of all
I’m turning loose, footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees
Jack, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose
Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees
Jack, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut, everybody cut
Everybody cut, everybody cut
Everybody cut, everybody cut
Everybody, everybody cut footloose

Poetry – ”Puppet Master”

This is a little free verse poem I wrote based on a dream I had last night.

I never thought of something this tragic,
Being haunted by a faded mirror.
One side of me is romantic,
And the other is like a thriller.

A sleepless night and a dream of something eerie.
I paint a picture of the final scene,
I hear the sound of painful silence,
And am blinded by the fear of being tragic.

Kiss me or gaze upon the final scene,
Sing the song about an endless quest,
A passion like a love affair between fire and ice,
Troubled, powerful, obsessed.

Another early morning roaring.
Surrounded by an endless form of fiction,
A world without protection from the haunting,
Dreams of being treated like a villain.

Alone without another life,
I accept my villainous urges.
I see your picture like a fallen angel,
I’m plagued by your dark infatuation.

I’ve awoken from an empty shell and splatter.
I feel the power like an evil creature,
Being taken by a puppet master,
Flesh and soul against the human eater.

I promise that not all of my work is dark! Although I have to admit, sometimes it feels good to write this way. It helps get out the darkness that sometimes plagues my mind.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and interpretations of this piece 🙂

 

 

 

 

Painted Book Edges DIY

I love arts and crafts. Now, whether I’m good or not is debatable. But I enjoy it nonetheless. I’ve been looking at ideas for bookish style projects, because, let’s face it, I live and breathe books. I can never resist a bookstore. Some people say I have a problem. I say…

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Anyways, all jokes aside, I came across this project on Pinterest, and I loved the idea!

The things you will need are:

  • A notebook
  • Acrylic paint
  • Small paint brushes
  • Painter’s tape or washy tape
  • Paper towel
  • Clamps or a heavy weight

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So the first thing you’ll need to do is wipe up the edges of the book so that you have a clean canvas to work with. Then, you’ll need to tape up all around the edges were you don’t want paint to touch.

IMG_1395Next, you need to press the pages down in some way. You can use clamps or a heavy weight. Then, paint a solid color onto the book’s edges. It’s important to have a dry brush to avoid moisture on the pages, and to use small  brushstrokes. Once your solid color is dry, you can paint different designs. Once the colors are all dry, you’ll want to wiggle the text block and then separate the pages to avoid them from sticking together. Then, remove the tape. Here are mine!

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I definitely need some practice! But I was very happy of the results nonetheless. I had a lot of fun making them, and I know I’ll be doing it again. Next time though, I think I’ll try it with a thicker book!

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CDN$ 21.30

Moleskine Classic Notebook, Pocket, Ruled, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5)

CDN$ 21.38

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 Piece (2-Ounce), PROMOABI Best Selling Colors

CDN$ 11.77

Paint Brushes, Laniakea® 12pcs Paint Brush Set

CDN$ 14.99


Neewer® 6-Pack Set Heavy Duty Muslin Spring Clamps Clips 3.75″

CDN$ 7.38

ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape, Original, 36 mm x 54.8 m

What is ”Hygge”?

I love words. I think that goes without saying (you know, being a writer and all). I’m always looking to expand my vocabulary, and I love to learn new words. Hence, Word Wizard Wednesday was born. How does it work? I pick a random word, I define it, then I share my thoughts. Simple, right? I want to share my findings with my readers. Sharing is caring, after all!

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Another free word defined. You’re welcome.

This week’s word is ”hygge”. Pronounced hue-guh, hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging any feeling or moment as cozy, charming or special.

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That awkward moment when I learned that I was saying this word wrong… I really thought it sounded like ”jiggy”. I’ve been saying ”Let’s get hygge with it!” This doesn’t date me in any way.

Hygge (or to be “hyggeligt”) doesn’t require learning “how to”, adopting it as a lifestyle or buying anything. Hygge literally only requires a conscious appreciation, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognize and enjoy the present. If you’ve ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy Sunday or a cup of hot cocoa on a snow day you’ve experienced hygge without even knowing it!

Sweatpants are a big part of my life. They’re just so comfy! And yes, sweatpants count as hygge. There’s even a word in Danish for them. Hyggebukser are that pair of pants you’d never be caught dead wearing in public, but practically live in when you’re at home binging on Netflix. Or when you’re too lazy to do laundry and it’s the only thing to wear. This happens to me on occasion. If ”on occasion” means ”all the time”.

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I prefer the term ”comfy-give-up-on-life-pants”.

In addition to describing things as hyggelig (hygge-like), Danes are also obsessed with adding hygge to other words to describe things. For example, a hyggekrog is essentially a nook where you can get cozy—imagine a window seat where you can wrap yourself up in a blanket and watch the world go by or your favorite armchair where you do all of your reading. Both of these things I do rather well, I might add.

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Accurate picture of me in my favorite reading setting: the beach. Although not technically a reading nook, it is one for me!

Since I see the pineapple me above, that reminds me of food! What you eat is also essential to creating those cozy vibes and it’s all about homemade sweets, comfort food and hot drinks. While restaurants can have a hygge atmosphere (think candles on the table and a fireplace in the back), spending tons of money on an expensive meal isn’t the point. It’s more about comfort and familiarity. My idea of this (other than the beach) is a warm cup of tea in a cozy sweater, digging up and making my Nanny’s famous macaroni and cheese recipe, then sharing it with friends and family while getting super fat and bloated (worth it!), and spending the weekend baking to my heart’s content. Food is life, okay? ”Too much food” just isn’t in my vocabulary. Maybe that’s why my weight is climbing.

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I say this, but only for a fleeting moment. Those pastries aren’t going to make and eat themselves! 

If you want to be truly hygge, just remember to appreciate the simple things that bring joy to your life. Instead of complaining about the bad weather this winter (yes, I know it’s tempting!), light some candles and hunker down with a cup of tea and that book you’ve been meaning to read for months (I need to do this ASAP. My TBR pile is getting embarrassingly long). Or if you’re feeling more social, cook up a pot of comforting soup and invite your friends over for a board game night. Have fun, and get hygge with it! (Yes, I will make that sentence cool 😉 )

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Hygge, Will Smith! Got to get hygge with it!

The myths and stories about writing

I love to write. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been working on writing projects (of varying quality, of course!) My first project was called ”The Little Girl And Her Ball”, and it was originally written in french. It was a simple tale; a little girl was playing with her ball, loses it, and goes on a journey to find it again.  Bestseller material right there.

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Anyways, writing has always been an important part in my life, and I strive to improve every day. I’m in no way an expert, but who knows, it might happen some day! 🙂 It’s important to me, but also to millions of people. Writing is the primary basis upon which communication, history, record keeping, and art has begun. We encounter writing every day of our lives, and can take a bounty of different forms. Each piece, in varying degrees of intensity, reflects its author. I can’t imagine a life without writing!

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A dozen caffeinated teas and a bowl of Reese’s Pieces later. I will finish that novel, dammit!

Among many ancient societies, writing held a extremely special and important role. Often writing is so revered that myths and deities were drawn up to explain its divine origin.

*WARNING – HISTORY LESSON AHEAD*

In ancient Egypt, the invention of writing is attributed to the god Thoth, who was the scribe and historian of the gods. In some Egyptian myths, Thoth is also portrayed as the creator of speech and possessing the power to transform speech into material objects. This ties in closely with the Egyptian belief that in order for a person to achieve immortality his or her name must be spoken or inscribed somewhere forever.

In Mesopotamia, the god Enlil was the creator of writing. Later, the god Nabu was credited as the inventor of writing and scribe of the gods. And similar to Thoth, Mesopotamian scribal gods also exhibit the power of creation via divine speech.

Among the Maya, the supreme deity Itzamna was a shaman and sorceror as well as the creator of the world. Itzamna was also responsible for the creation of writing and time-keeping.

In China, the invention of writing was not attributed to a deity but instead to a ancient sage named Ts’ang Chieh, who was a minister in the court of the legendary Huang Ti. While not divine, this invention served as a communication tool between heaven (realm of gods and ancestors) and earth (realm of humans).

Whether as a medium to communicate with the gods, or as a magical or supernatural power, writing clearly possessed a divine nature in these ancient cultures. Writing became not only a way to extend memory but also a tool for the elite to justify their rule upon the common, illiterate people.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to work on my writing projects that are easy to start, but can never finish :/ #writingproblems

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This is 100% accurate. I swear.

 

My thoughts on “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh found his place in art and produced emotional, visually arresting paintings over the course of a career that lasted only a decade. His 1889 painting of “The Starry Night” has been replicated by artists all around the world, including myself. In high school, I modeled my artistic style with his, as it helped me express my emotional and psychological responses to the world through bold colors and expressive and symbolic images. I was, and still am, a very shy person, and art and writing helps me express myself.

“The Starry Night” is one of the most familiar pieces of art, and has a considerable significance to a lot of people. When I look at it, I am instantly transported into an alternate reality. My anxieties and worries soften for a moment, as my mind sways back and forth with the painting’s brushstrokes. I love the calm night skies, and find a lot of peace in starry nights.

giphyMy mind when I see this painting.

Vincent Van Gogh was a famous Impressionist artist. Many people have heard about how Van Gogh was called “crazy” and suffered with mental health issues throughout his life. The story of Van Gogh cutting off his ear after a fight with his friend, the French artist Paul Gauguin, is one of the most popular anecdotes in art history, and supposedly occurred in winter 1888, the year before the painting of Starry Night. Keeping with his reputation as a “crazy” artist, Van Gogh was committed to a mental health asylum in Arles after the ear incident. History has it that Van Gogh painted Starry Night while in the mental hospital, and that the landscape in the painting is the view Van Gogh had from his window. As someone who struggles with mental health issues, I know only know too well the harshness the word “crazy” brings.

There are various interpretations of Starry Night. The one that I identified with is that this canvas depicts hope. It seems that Van Gogh was showing that even with a dark night such as this it is still possible to see light in the windows of the houses. Furthermore, with shining stars filling the sky, there is always a light to guide you. As someone who struggles with mental health issues, I identify with this piece, and find comfort in it’s contoured forms. I feel like Van Gogh’s turbulent quest to overcome his illness is reflected in the dimness of the night sky. This is truly inspiring to me. Knowing the story behind his painting has deepened my appreciation for the piece, and gives me a way to deal with my anxieties. The world may be bleak at times, but there is still good in it. We must never give up hope.

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CDN$ 39.99

Fokenzary Hand Painted Oil Painting on Canvas

CDN$ 9.99

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh Poster Print

CDN$ 19.74

Eurographics Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh 1000-Piece Puzzle