I think this is self-explanatory- this is obviously going to be a TOP QUALITY advice post on how you can find ways to be creative, even when the muse has fled:
#1 Pick up a project you’ve already finished and see if you can find *some* way to tinker with it…
#2 Brainstorm for new ideas (which really just means scribbling random things in a notebook- but no one’ll know if you look serious about it 😉)
#3 Go for a walk and invent stories (or even conversations with strangers) in your head. This is a highly productive exercise that you will no doubt mine from in future projects 😉
#4 “Learn” a language on Duolingo- pretending one day you will try to replicate Tolkien (you won’t)
#5 “Research” some topic that may or may not be relevant for your next project- this can mean looking up obscure topics on reddit or even reading scientific journals or (when all else fails) ogling googling pictures of celebrities… for inspiration purposes of course 😉
#6 Make a batch of gingerbread cookies and give them funky outfits (I’d use my own examples but 1) I eat them pretty pronto after making them and 2) I’m not exactly talented when it comes to baking and so they usually come out looking come out looking somewhat deformed… which is another reason to eat them quickly/put them out of their misery 😉)
#7 Pick up that instrument you never learned how to play and make a few out of tune sounds like you’re strangling a cat (you’ll know it’s time to stop when people come running to see where the banshee is)
#8 Sing along (tunelessly) to BIG BALLADS!
# And maybe incorporate some dance moves 😉
#11 Write a post for your blog… just like this!
And there you go- any blocked feelings you’re have undoubtedly vanished and you’re back to your usual creative self! Possibly… 😉
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about bad interpretations and I realised it’s actually a lot of work to come up with rubbish! So, naturally, I couldn’t help but write a uselessly absurd post about how it might be achieved (as always, this is just a joke and meant in good fun- not trying to throw shade at anyone!). And, for once I can safely say, don’t worry if you don’t like reading: there’s a good chance you won’t even have to read a single book to do this properly! Let’s get onto my “helpful” guidelines:
#1 Start with your own biases and conclusions and work your way backwards- this is simply the best way to ensure you get the interpretation you desire. It doesn’t matter if it fits with the work at all, as long as your happy with the analysis- that’s the main thing! And the great thing about this is you can add your own person touch: if you don’t like certain characters/love interests/plot points, you get to decide what it meant all along… even if it runs contrary to the actual text (told you, you wouldn’t actually have to read the book!)
#2 Everything in a book either shows the author’s noble intentions OR shows them to be an utter scumbag. This is because every. single. word. in a book is the author’s real thoughts and they must be rewarded or punished for whatever is said (delete where appropriate)
#3 All the characters were secretly gay- whether the book specifies this or not. This is just a good interpretation, regardless of the story.
#4 Nothing is a mistake. Inconsistencies or typos or any printing mishaps are all pregnant with meaning, so you must labour to make them make sense. If there is a typo on page 26, it’s not only secretly deliberate, but it also tells you that the number 26 is the secret to the universe.
#5 There is genius in all sentence structure/line breaks. If you cannot find the meaning behind it… make it up!
#6 Also, don’t overlook the importance of adjectives. Each one is deep and meaningful. It is there for a reason and you must find it dammit!
#7 The author is god: if they tell you how to interpret their book, then that is the correct answer (bonus points if you can use the author’s interpretation to attack or praise them- this means you can resurrect your attitude from #2). Ignore all evidence from this point on. On that note…
#8 Never, ever, EVER use actual evidence. This is offensive. Remember, if you want to write true nonsense, logic must be thrown out the window, doused in oil and set on fire. The best phrase to use when someone asks you why you think something is “read between the lines”- then you are free to act superior and like anyone who disagrees with you is an absolute idiot (because, of course, they are)
#9 Do not admit to or acknowledge being wrong. Remember: the secret to being superior is having the right attitude and that means pretending to be super human at all costs. No matter how big of a hole you dig yourself into, you must never back down and must continue until down that tunnel until either your opponent throws themselves in to save you OR you reach the earth’s core and are fried in molten lava… whichever comes first! And finally…
#10 There is an age-old view that reading and writing should be fun- BUT THIS IS OUTDATED! (I mean, we all know that anything that is old is bad nowadays, so you should have seen this coming). It is VERY IMPORTANT that other readers understand that reading is a miserable experience at all times and know what a sacrifice you made to indulge in this hobby undergo this procedure. Also, books no longer have any escapist elements- everything in them is always a gloomy interpretation of the awful state of reality (extra points if you can link a book to current events- whether this is relevant or written with the foreknowledge of where the world was heading. Personally, I’m looking forward to the academic work on how the Bronte sisters predicted the pandemic!)
And that’s it! That’s the *absolute best* way to interpret a book! I hope you learnt a lot/enjoyed reading my ridiculous ramblings! 😉
But of course, as perfect as this advice is, I’d like to know if (by some bizarre accident) I’ve missed something- are there any other silly ways we should be interpreting what we read? Let me know in the comments!
Aww what a cutesie title… for something that’s gonna get dark pretty fast 😉
My fortune– I must consult the stars to find out my fate! (I’d say I’ll be looking at tea leaves, but let’s be real, those are in short supply 😉 ) Oh you thought this post would be serious? Okay then, I can do serious…
*THE NEWS*- cos we need regular updates on how we’re all DOOMED- okay maybe too serious. How about something a little more upbeat? I know, thinking about food usually cheers me up, but oh wait…
All those recipes for things I can’t cook because people have been stockpiling and there’s no food left (people have even gone for the bananas!!!)
The TV guide– because even if you can’t plan your next meal, you can plan your next TV marathon!
Unfinished drafts– yes, I did write this one while staring at the page for a good ten minutes trying to figure out what to say next 😉
Instructions on how to WASH YOUR FILTHY GERMRIDDEN HANDS (turn on tap, lather up soap, rub for 20 secs while singing happy birthday… see, now you’ve ticked one item off your TBR 😉)
The government’s lockdown guidelines– which you will need to read over and over and over again to make head or tail of… annnd still be stuck on (both physically and metaphorically) days later.
Messages from loved ones– partly because we love them, mostly cos there’s sod else to do 😉 But on the positive side, mine tend to send me…
ALL THE MEMES! Frankly, the one good thing to come out of this situation!
Annnd I wish I could say this is an April Fool’s Joke- but it seems like this year, the joke’s on us! Also, clearly after a few days of being a cooped-up monkey, I’ve completely lost the plot! Hope you enjoyed this! Now go wash your hands!
I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, back when dating apps and websites weren’t a thing, there used to be Lonely Hearts adverts in newspapers. And I don’t know what it was about this format that made it inordinately funny, but those snappy little sales pitches always used to get me going. So that got me thinking- what would some fictional characters’ adverts be like? This is obviously a post designed to be taken very seriously indeed 😉
Jeremy Fisher– elderly gentleman, likes fishing. Insects are my passion and my dinner. Hopping to live in the Lake District.
The Little Mermaid– Danish singleton, just searching for my voice and to be part of your world. Likes long walks on the beach. Excellent swimmer.
Voldemort– charming chap, with distinctive features. Wizard in the bedroom (and everywhere else). Favourite song: who wants to live forever. Very attached to pet snake. I will choose you Potter…
Count Dracula– nobleman from Transylvania. Seeks another future spouse to be eternally by my side. Loves: hosting guests, sordid affairs, black capes, bats, drinking (blood). Dislikes: mirrors, stakes, garlic, daylight.
Smaug– smoking-hot, feisty bachelor. Will warm the cockles of your heart (and set you on fire). Meat eater. LOVES GOLD.
Cersei Lannister– killer queen, who likes to keep things in the family. Looking a tall, blond, handsome, twin-spirit that shares the same values and birthdate (hey Jaime, need a hand 😉 )
Dorian Gray– gosh I’m so beautiful, have you noticed how beautiful I am? I really am a marvel to look at (don’t go in my attic)
Miss Havisham– I have the wedding dress already (may need cleaning). Likes entertaining children. I will wait for you…
Gollum– my preciousssss… I wantsss you for myself…
Bella Swan– teenage girl seeking elderly man for committed relationship… maybe, I’m not sure, *bites lip*. I might want to keep my options open (unless you want to kill me, then I’m game!). So bland you can project all your desires onto me. Likes very specific literature that I will contrive to fit my life/our relationship… Oopsie I fell over.
Iago– very accomplished man, somewhat overlooked by those who should pay me respect. Prone to fits of jealousy. Seeks woman who can help with evil schemes.
Ebenezer Scrooge– bah humbug! What is the point of celebrating our love for each other when there is work to be done? Then again, I seem to be haunted by my longings…
White Rabbit– I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!
The Librarian– ook? *presents banana*
And that’s all I’ve got for now! Do you have any lonely hearts for literary characters to add? Let me know in the comments!
Well hello everybody! So, two things have been irritating me lately: 1) people calling things pretentious when they’re not actually pretentious (no beautiful writing does not automatically equal pretentious) and 2) pretentious people being pretentious (usually the same people labelling things pretentious when they’re not). Which is why I’ve decided to do the totally “mature” thing and make THE MOST PRETENTIOUS POST IN THE WORLD just to set the record straight/show that anything you can do I can do better (*yes this is satire, thank you for noticing* 😉)
Alrighty then, let’s get into this discombobulation of an articulation of my emancipation from the oppressive forces that is the English language. Yeahhh look at all those “ations” going into my word salad- myself is a veritable genius 😉 Hope yourself likes myself’s use of hypercorrection there. Thusly, myself thought I’d share my hypnotic-transcendent-mind-boggling-patriarchy-smashing-dominative-sociocratic art with you- enjoy/be amazed by…
Crease in the Wallpaper
A reference, of course, to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s work, using shades of light and dark to obfuscate the question is anything even real? The fact that you can barely even see it represents how we are blind to the evils that exist in society purely to oppress us.
As the title suggests, this is a powerful piece reflecting on the wounds society invariably and unwittingly inflicts upon us with is shadowy gaze and accidental touch.
Like my hopes and dreams after this post- completely deflated.
I’m a monkey, I just really like bananas. Also *symbolism* which you’ll have to figure out for yourself.
And my favourite:
I am poor. Send help.
(unfortunately/fortunately we temporarily got rid of the rising damp in the bathroom so you can’t see that in all its glory)
(NB: though I have been forced to use the typical trappings of frames that society superficially demands I use, this is only so that you take me seriously in an increasingly unsympathetic world where artists go underappreciated, NOT because I am a “total wanker” as critics claim.)
(NBB: all the photos are raw and unfiltered… except for the ones where I’ve used filters)
Wowwww what a treat that was for the universe. Now let’s get onto my poetry. Alas- there won’t be a live performance of me accosting-strangers-on-a-street-corner à-la-nouveau slam poetry style, so since you are robbed of that, you’ll have to use your imaginations to witness me shrieking wildly *in your mind’s eye*:
infinite forevers And
THE END! Finito! *Takes bow*
I sincerely hope you did that justice by picturing me just like this:
One day some lucky sod’s gonna be studying that prestigious work of art for GCSE. And on that beautiful note, I’ll love you and leave you 😉
So I watched the movie version of Every Day and *wowwww* I had thoughts on it- so rather than doing a review, which would inevitably get me in trouble with book-stans, I thought it would be more fun to do my own honest version of this “super progressive” horrible story- ya know, to get myself in EVEN MORE trouble with book stans 😉 For people that don’t know this book, the basic plot is that a spirit called A takes over a body every day- there’s a bunch of complicated rules for this, but all you really need to know is A can possess anyone in the same age category- which sounds like an okay premise… until you realise it’s YA so there *has to* be a love story. Cos of course. Now you can probably see the problems that might arise here- however for the sake of entertainment (and in case you can’t see the issue), I’ve decided to rewrite this with a relatively sane human being as the female lead (I know, that’s so out there, it’ll almost make this story almost unbelievable). Enjoy! (or ya know, throw rocks in my general direction cos SATIRE IS EVIL!)
“Oh hello there, I didn’t see you. Wait- why are you staring?”
“Because I am your boyfriend.”
There is a peculiar glint to his eye and glitter in his hair.
“Er, yeah, I know. What’s the matter with you? Did you dress up as Edward Cullen today?”
He smirks at me, like he knows something I don’t…
“Do you want to skip school?”
“Is this what we usually do together?”
“You’re being weird.”
He bends his head to kiss me and I decide to just go with it- after all it wouldn’t be the first time and it seems like a better idea than talking at any rate. He stops and pulls away, gawking at me with peculiar intensity.
“Can I tell you a secret? I am not your boyfriend- see ya!”
His eyes roll into the back of his head. There’s a gurgling sound in his throat, like rattling chains. Then he looks up at me, the picture of innocence.
“Wh-what just happened?” he asks.
“You tell me,” I reply shakily.
But he does not have an answer.
The barrista is giving me side-eye. She seems to gulp several times, perhaps on the words can I take your order… but then she does something unexpected.
“I have something to tell you,” she murmurs in my ear, her voice unnaturally hoarse, her eyes carrying a red glint.
I blink. “Do I know you?”
“You did yesterday.”
“Excuse me,” I say, but the weirdo is already walking away.
I can’t be sure- but I think I see glitter in her hair.
I was in Chemistry when it happens again.
The bloke in front of me has one of those forgettable faces- maybe that’s why he looks like a total stranger. Or maybe he’s another wacko. I hedge my bets by saying nothing.
“Let me formally introduce myself. My name’s A. I’m a spirit that jumps from body to body.”
“Righhhht,” I say, edging out of my seat.
He blocks my path.
“Oh I know you don’t recognise me. But that’s okay- I know you. I’ve been… seeing you around a lot lately.”
I half laugh. “Next you’ll be saying you’ve been watching me sleep.”
He stares at me pointedly, a red gleam in his gaze.
I kick him in the shin and flee- what else was I supposed to do?
A is a girl today. And yes, I’ve decided to just go with the whole A thing- if I’m being punked it’ll make for better TV. Besides, there’s that whole red-eye thing.
“Do you have a type?” she/he/it says.
“I’m not attracted to you,” I reply flatly.
“Who cares! I’m attracted to you. Are you too up yourself to be with me?”
I roll my eyes so far back into my head I feel I must look like the scary one. If only.
A does not bother me today. Thank god.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t around yesterday, the kid I was in was having a lung operation. Wait- why are you running away again?”
I track down one of A’s victims. It was all over the local news: boy wakes up in ditch and claims he was possessed by a demon. They’re saying he’s crazy, looking for attention. I know the truth.
“I think he might have been the devil,” the boy whispers.
“You’re probably right,” I reply incautiously- then look around. I grab a pen and scribble a note in case it’s listening: “It’s stalking me! Send help!”
“Do you not like me cos I’m fat today?”
“Do you not like nose rings? At least I have a great butt!”
It’s inside me. I watch from behind my eyes as A stares at my naked form in the mirror. I am helpless, exposed, furious. Perhaps it feels it too. A opens my mouth and screams:
“WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME!”
Mum comes upstairs.
“Sorry, I’m not available to chat right now,” A hisses with my stolen tongue and slams the door in her face.
Boy, am I going to pay for that later.
“Look I’m sorry I landed you in a psych ward. I may have taken things too far.”
“It’s okay,” I say, even though my hands won’t sit still. “I’ve spoken to someone about… you.”
“Is this the part where you tell me you never want to see me again?”
I close my eyes, remember what the priest told me and repeat it word for word: “I’m asexual,” I say with as much confidence as I can muster.
The shock is visible on the demon’s face; the red glint and glitter instantly begin to fade.
“Forgive me, I should have a-s-k-k-k…”
But it’s too late. I’ve said the magic words. The gender-bending demon is banished by the supreme power of progressive top trumps. The end!
NB this isn’t a critique of the book cos I haven’t read it and NOT GONNA READ IT- even if you pinky swear it’s better than the adaptation. And, having read reviews, both the book and movie seem to believe that having the protagonist say “but you stalked me and kissed me against my will” somehow makes it a-okay. Sorry, no. Pointing out a problem doesn’t fix it. Ultimately, the creepy spirit violated many, many people’s consent. And no amount of pointing that out is gonna erase it. If you love this book, then fine, I’m sure I won’t convince you otherwise- but, yeesh, this went so far over the line for me. I’ll get off my soapbox now 😉
BREAKING NEWS: A presumptuous primate was seen in Northern Ireland, ahead of Game of Thrones returning to the small screens, wandering around the sets in search of dragons- J. Ourno reports.
It’s journey appeared to start in the usually tranquil Dark Hedges aka The King’s Road:
It then went onto the Riverlands and even invaded the legendary Winterfell.
Locals were perturbed by this monkey madness saying: “I don’t care if they say Game of Thrones has been good for tourism- if we go letting any old ape into Northern Ireland, soon we’ll have all sorts of monkey business and gorilla warfare going on. Where will it end?”
We managed to catch up to said orangutan, who had this to say: “I only went on a day trip. Personally, I thought I fitted right in and don’t know what all the fuss was about 😉 I think it’s all bananas!”
Sky, HBO and the production team for Game of Thrones were unavailable for comment.
I’ve been doing this nearly four years and I’ve received a lot of advice in that time- some of which has even been good 😉 Nonetheless, thanks to all the bad advice, I now think I also have a good idea of how not to approach a book blogger. So, I’ve compiled a “useful” list, for all those not in the know, of all the best ways to make a reviewer irate.
NB *please note, this is all in good fun, take this satirical piece seriously at your own peril* 😉
Correct the reviewer on their opinions because their opinion is wrong and yours is right and soon they’ll understand that. Don’t be constructive and give reasons for your disapproval- it’s preferable if you use ad hominems like “you’re thick as pig shit” or more pretentious terms if you can manage it. Remember you can use a thesaurus on the internet and it doesn’t matter if your insults make sense- just try to find the longest word possible (like floccinaucinihilipilification or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… although that second one’s more of a compliment 😉 )
When you critique a review, don’t bother to actually read the review– remember your opinion is valuable and the reviewer is bound to listen to you, even if your suggestion makes no sense in the context eg “in the future you could write what genre it is” in a review that states as much in the first line- this will leave the baffled reviewer reading and rereading their work, trying to figure out what the hell you meant- which is what you want!
Ask the reviewer why people are reading their review– make sure you say this in an as aggressive tone as possible- preferably in ALL CAPS example: I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE READ THIS TRASH!
Get insulted on behalf of the author for negative reviews– particularly if the author is a millionaire. Remember to take any criticism levied extremely personally- cos your hero’s honour is at stake and you must defend it! If they knew you existed, said author would probably thank you (or, you know, not).
Critique the blogger’s layout– cos why not- if it’s offensive to your eye then it must be bad and if you don’t like the images they used, they have to know about it dammit.
And my favourite: if you don’t like what a blogger has to say- harass them on twitter. This will not only show the world that you’re a *good person* but is a great way to change someone’s mind (also mind you don’t listen to any counter arguments they offer because you are a GOOD PERSON and they are a BAD PERSON). I have to add that this is an incredibly convincing tactic, cos I’m sure “YOU’RE WRONG, I KNOW YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE BETTER THAN YOU DO!” has convinced many people in history (particularly when coming from strangers).
Annnd *ouch*, I think I’m feeling the sting of my own sarcasm after that. What do you think of this list? Have you any other “helpful” criticisms to levy at book bloggers? Don’t be shy! And Happy April Fool’s!
So I know that for those of you not following me on twitter, this might come as a bit of a shock, but my laptop passed away last week. After battling various viruses, undergoing numerous operations, the Mad Hatter has finally succumbed to old age (well it was 8 years old in acer-computer years, which means it was roughly 200 in human years 😉 ).
I’d like to say the bastard died in its sleep, but unfortunately he took the “do not go gently into that good night” approach, stuttering out of existence in the same way he lived: loudly and with as much fuss as possible (it’s probably thanks to all that damn poetry I’ve fed it over the years). Finally, however, it decided to go to sleep, with the thoughtful message that it would not be turning back on again.
As you might have gathered, we were not friends- in fact I was mildly abusive to him- but someone ought to deliver his eulogy- someone that knew him best- and that someone was me. I was the one to piece this Frankenstein’s monster back together and he repaid me in kind by crashing on me while I was doing my dissertation. Ahh good times.
Anyway, I think it’s time I addressed the Mad Hatter directly: we went through hell together- mostly due to your monstrous unreliability from the early days- and a little big part of me is glad to see the back of you, but I still shed tears at your passing (of frustration). May you rest (in pieces) and find solace in your eternal slumber under my bed (until I start rummaging through you trying to see if I can salvage any last bits from your hard drive).
Alright- I think that about sums it all up. Sorry I’ve not been active online this last week- I scheduled my posts and then everything went kaput. But it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. For where there is death, there is also life… welcome to the world Harry Potter!
*Attempt at humour alert- take this post seriously at your own peril!*
Since that incredibly note-worthy film Cats and Dogs was released, the fact that cats not-so-secretly want to rule the world has been exposed for us all to see. Well, I posit the theory that cats have an even greater agenda! Cats are ever-present in books and their oft sympathetic portrayals are evidence that a lot of books are just propaganda, designed assist this feline takeover. Let’s look at the evidence shall we…
Dick Whittington and his Cat– cat heroics- need I say more?
The Warriors Series– more cats fighting the good fight. No points for spotting the hidden messages here 😉
The Tiger Who Came to Tea– last time I mentioned this book I was larking about making fun of people that read a little too much into children’s books- but not this time! This time I’m DEADLY SERIOUS. The message of this book is very indirect, because some might even forget that a tiger is in fact a BIG CAT. But if you look below the surface, it’s basically telling young and impressionable souls to open their doors to felines, let them take advantage of hospitality and then saunter off as if nothing has happened. Well, I’m onto these disgusting fiends!
Samuel Whiskers– even though it’s about a rat, you support the cat. Because that’s what the cats want!
Garfield– the ultimate fat cat teaches us to indulge our furry “friends” with lots of lasagne and basically let the scroungers sponge off us (little suspecting that they might one day pounce on an opportunity to enslave us further!)
We also can’t forget movie adaptations…
The Birds– this is super subtle, but just think, when you’re watching this movie, didn’t the thought occur to you that the problem could have been solved with a bunch of cats? Portraying their mortal enemies as our mortal enemies is one of the ways cats ingratiate themselves into our lives. I’m telling you, they’re conspiring against us!
Disney was also very pro cat (no I’m not skirting over the fact there are dog movies and the logo is a mouse- that’s all a front I tell you!)
Ermm yeah- so that’s my really logical argument that cats are trying to indoctrinate us through different forms of media. I doff my tin foil hat to anyone I’ve convinced- which, I’m sure, is everyone. So what books do you think are on board with this pro-cat agenda?
Also- at the risk of starting a flame-war in the comments- what do you prefer, cats or dogs? (I’m gonna disappoint you all and say that I don’t actually have a preference, I just wanted to make this silly post 😉 )