777 Challenge: “Fragments of Aurora”

Scrawled 2 September, 2015, 6 Comments

It is quite a well-known fact that I am really not one for blog tags – but also, I think exceptions can always be made for the best ones. (What is a rule without a few good exceptions, after all? ;))

So I must thank the endlessly lovely Alyssa of The Devil Orders Takeout and Jean of Miz Writer Lady for tagging me in the 777 Challenge (and on that note, please do take a look at their challenges + blogs in general – I promise, you will not be disappointed).

The rules are simple: lines 7-14 of page 7 from our current WIPs, here on the blog for all to see. And of course, the obvious choice for this would be Frozen Hearts – but alas, after having scrolled down to page 7, I have come to the conclusion that it’s sort of overflowing with spoilers, so it would perhaps not be the wisest decision to share it with you.

So instead, I’m putting forth a different WIP – one that I have not talked about much on the blog, mainly because it is still a very (very, very) rough draft. (Not even a draft. More like the half-formed beginnings of one.)

The title is Fragments of Aurora, and it is a Sleeping Beauty retelling – oh, how I love my fairytale retellings! – centred around darkness and light, brambles and smoke, a forest with a mind of its own, a moon that howls back at wolves too proud to answer, and a girl whose deepest scars have been inflicted by her own claws. (More on the Pinterest board, if your interest is piqued.)

As for tagging, I will go with Christina of Fairy Skeletons, Samantha of Her InklingsBeth of The Quiet People, Ana of Butterflies of the Imagination, and Chiara Sullivan. I would be so delighted to read your lovely work, but of course, only if you want to do it – no pressure at all!

And without further ado – here we are, a small excerpt of Fragments of Aurora. (End of a chapter, actually, because I am a badass like that. ;)) Enjoy, lovelies!

“But perhaps,” said the boy, eyes alight with something far more potent than magic, “perhaps – perhaps the princess truly is alive. It’s possible, isn’t it? You always said –”

“Nonsense,” his mother snapped in a tone that implied the end of a discussion. “Fairy stories are going to your head again. Isn’t it getting past your bedtime?”

*

Long after the boy had trudged up to sleep, a howl echoed outside the window – soft and low and melancholy, as if in afterthought or in reply.

The woman looked up.

“Oh, hush,” she said to the empty air. “No one asked for your opinion.”

She shook her head at what looked like nothing, and all around her, the night let out a sigh too weary for all of the secrets it cradled.


Snapshots | August 31st

Scrawled 31 August, 2015, 4 Comments

So, I am sort of kicking myself, because I just realised I missed Friday Poetry for two weeks in a row – and I haven’t been writing much poetry in between, either. I feel a bit empty, honestly. (See? Let this be a cautionary tale – this is what happens when a writer doesn’t write enough!)

I think the reason might be because we recently moved my therapist appointments to Friday right after school, whereas they used to be over the weekend. It’s a slight issue, since I mostly leave those sessions feeling rather drained and exhausted and weepy, and not exactly in the mood for writing much poetry.

So this is not exactly a sustainable schedule; I’m thinking I may have to start writing the poems during the week instead (which is also a bit tough, since I write best late late late at night, but what can you do, right?). If you lovelies have any other suggestions, I’d be so happy to hear them – I certainly don’t want to stop Friday Poetry, but I also don’t want to keep missing out on it, so it’s a conundrum!

Other than that, I have no shame whatsoever in saying that I spent the majority of my weekend marathoning the Captain America films, reading copious amounts of fanfiction, crying over Bucky Barnes, marvelling at the utter and complete badassery that is Peggy Carter, and generally being a stereotypical fangirl. Also, no one can tell me Steve and Bucky are not ridiculously in love.

(I think it is important for my well-being to occasionally devolve into this state. And besides, the dragons get restless when they are in need of a good Marvel binge! ;))

A medley of things that made me smile over the weekend: Alyssa of The Devil Orders Takeout wrote a lovely post in which she mentioned both Half Mystic and Six Impossible Things, because she is basically a gem; these tiny starfields are so beautifully calming that they’ve become my go-to solution for anxiety attacks; 40 inspirational speeches in two minutes, in case you’re in need of a pick-me-up (can you recognise them all? I could only place about ten); these puppies are just really happy with life, the universe, and everything.

And how was your weekend, lovelies? xx


Introducing Half Mystic’s New Staff Members

Scrawled 26 August, 2015, 12 Comments

And the story keeps growing.

It is difficult to put into words how ecstatic I am to introduce two new players who will, perhaps, steer it in directions I never would have thought to explore on my own. And so – may I have the absolute pleasure of bringing in Christina Im and Priya Bryant, the newest members of the Half Mystic team.

Perhaps you will recognise Christina, who brought to life my wonderful first voyage into the world of literary magazines, The Teacup TrailI think it’s only fitting that we’re working together on a new kind of magic now, don’t you?

Christina emailed me to apply for a position of her own creation – one that I had not anticipated when Half Mystic was first born, but what is this if not an exercise in experimentation? And so, we now have an interview correspondent to bring together musical figures from across the internet and hear what makes their souls tick. I have no doubt that Christina will be perfectly suited for the job.

And Priya – a new friend, one whose application spilled over with musical enchantment. One of the most nervewracking parts of all this, I’ve found, is wondering whether the people working on Half Mystic with me are as head-over-heels in love with music as I am. Somehow I don’t think this will at all be an issue here.

Priya is our blog correspondent; she will be working together with Christina to create content for the Half Mystic blog, in the form of blog posts while Christina tackles interviews. Truly, I am so in awe of music journalists – after all, how does one distill such a reckless form of art into words? – and Priya has the incredible job of spreading all of that musical love to Half Mystic‘s readers.

I must say, it has been such a difficult job narrowing down the applications – and there are still more to come! – but I can confirm that I could not have hoped for better teammates than Christina & Priya. I am ridiculously lucky to have their help, to watch this small lovely thing bloom into something far greater.

It will be quite glorious. That, I’m becoming more and more sure of.

(apply as a staff member for Half Mystic // submit to Issue I: Allegro)


Snapshots | August 24th

Scrawled 24 August, 2015, 18 Comments

I feel like it’s important that you know: I wrote the title of this post and then sat here for about ten minutes wondering how on earth August is going by so fast.

I’m not quite sure why, but August has always been a rather lazy month for me. June and July – they fly by, but Augusts of old have sauntered in and twined themselves around my ankles, reluctant to keep moving forward.

But this August has been such a whirlwind, for some reason – not least because school is finally getting stressful. I’m keeping my head above water, at least, but the hyperacusis has been wreaking havoc on any semblance of calm I might be able to muster in school.

As one might imagine, it’s a bit hard to concentrate in class when I jump three feet in the air whenever someone clicks a pen or blows their nose. But more than that, I’ve found that anxiety causes hyperacusis, which then causes more anxiety, and then yet more hyperacusis, and all in all it is just a very sad and vicious cycle.

Something that has been making up for it slightly, though, and helping to take my mind off things: I am currently reading the mind-blowingly amazing Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

I know, I know, I should have read it ages ago – but I just kept putting it off, mostly because of all of the hype surrounding it. (What can I say? I can be stubborn like that. ;)) But I’m so glad I finally picked it up; I am hooked. It’s the kind of book that has simultaneously gorgeous prose and a breakneck plot, and I’m not really 100% sure how the author does it, but it is beautiful.

So that is one good thing, and here is another: we’re making progress with Half MysticI am ridiculously excited to say that two staff members have been chosen for the team, and I’ll be introducing them on the blog this week – one is a familiar face and one is a new friend, but I have no doubt that you will give them both a warm welcome. (Er, not quite so warm as the dragons, though; let us hope there aren’t any singed fingertips around here. ;))

So that was my weekend! I’m hoping this week is a little bit easier on the ears, but I suppose we’ll see – and I am so looking forward to introducing the lovely new Half Mystic staff to you. You will adore them, I promise.

How was your weekend, lovelies? I would be so happy to hear about it – let’s chat in the comments! xx


Laughter Lines

Scrawled 20 August, 2015, 16 Comments

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Maybe this is art. Or something like it, at least – shaking laughter, twilight softness, the air sweet with a fragile sort of joy.

I am rather squeamish about photographs. Side effect of depression, I suppose – as the happiness plummets, so does the body image. And so on, and so forth. We know how it goes.

But there is part of the story that takes place here, beyond all of that: humid summer evening, windows thrown wide open, loose-limbed and light-hearted, the air wishing it was water. Yes. This is how it spells out – we will forget the jokes in the haze of morning, but there is a person on the other end of the lens who is my favourite of all. He does not want to lose this.

Just for a moment, neither do I.

Blurry iPhone photos of fleeting laughter lines. The feeling of being alive in one’s own skin.

Maybe this is art. Maybe this is hope. Maybe they are one and the same.