Feyre Archeron: Cosplay

Ever since the title for A Court of Wings and Ruin released I’ve been itching to cosplay at least one character from the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. It only took two people to say that I looked like Feyre for me to fully accept that “challenge” (haha, but really, as a first time cosplay-er this was a lot more fun that I had expected it to be). Finding all of the gear and accessories was the fun part… walking through a public hiking trail and an arboretum wearing elf ears and a ball gown was a bit awkward to say the least.

So without any further delay, here are all of the photos we shot over the week! I definitely plan on cosplaying my favorite character this coming fall– LUCIEN. I’m already teaching myself how to properly use prosthetic makeup and apply colored eye contacts. And with a possible Lucien novella lurking just around the corner, I really can’t wait!

Ears: Geekling Creations on Etsy
Headpiece: NebulaXCrafts on Etsy
Dress: DHGate
Bow & Arrow: Bounty Bunker on Etsy
Book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookDepo
Arm Jewelry: Heartichoke (Huntington, NY)

 

Garden Party: a spring playlist.

cozy readsThis beautiful cover design is from artist Júlia Sardà.
You can check out her other pieces here

Garden Party is a combination of songs that make me want to stroll through meadows, find the sunniest patch of grass, plant flowers, eat pretty pastries like lemon bread or French food I cannot pronounce. It also makes me want to read, but honestly what doesn’t? In other words, you might have heard these songs if you’ve ever shopped in Anthropologie. Enjoy!

 

tracklist.

i. what’s a girl to do / Bat for Lashes
ii. paper bag / Fiona Apple
iii. queen of peace / Florence & the Machine
iv. wild fire / Laura Marling
v. wild horses (acoustic) / Bishop Briggs
vi. pierre / Ryn Weaver
vii. all my tears / Ane Burn
viii. all I want / Sarah Blasko
ix. metal heart / Cat Power
x. wish you were here / Florence Welch
xi. aventine / Agnes Obel
xii. 1234 / Feist

Listen on 8tracks here.

Writing Excerpts // no.1

(Here are just some of my dabbles, mostly things I’ve written while bored in class. Maybe one day I’ll expand upon some of them, but who knows? I hope you enjoy!)

part i.

Forth comes the rain that cleaves the wind
with hedging shears and wilting petals,
of which were uprooted too soon,
bewitched by the rising sun,
and drenched in cold sea salt.
Soon will come the roses—
bloodless
ivory sheets twirled between toes—
for what else can new beginnings bring
but growth and thorns and wild abandon.

 

wood.

A tree is only a vessel

made of silt and soil
crafted by fingers dipped in dawn,
and you are but a tree
made from fallen oak
shattered pine
weeping willow
and forest
fire.

A moon of black fire hangs low tonight.

It says to the trees in tongues of foreign mothers hither and wither the crow calls to the unkind ravens, but the ravens are bare and boneless as you in winter webs. And onward goes the shadows who hunt in the path of the flickering fire— onward towards the featherless birds who still scream with mirth even though they’re naked against the cold.

A dusting of frost licks the sides of indescribably large pumpkins, coating the ghost white, grey, and orange of the fruits. Vines upon vines and thorns of thyme loop through the dirt whereupon the crows have burrowed the raven’s wares, creating a nest for the unseelie queen.

 

excerpt no. ii

When the storytellers recite their wares of folklore, the maidens, though they vary in voice and valiance, are often portrayed for being one thing above all else.

Fragile.

Delicate limbs and rosebud lips that which are wielded to disarm armies and infiltrate the most stalwart minds of kings and courtiers. Her velvet skin, her willow-the-wisp hair, her honeysuckle breath that offers solace to all that come close enough to taste it— taste her— will be the demise of a great many men. These characters of old are liars. They are the myths; not the dragons that their knights forged into serpentine tapestries and used the scales to create jewelry for a blossoming bride. No beast was nailed to a dinning hall for being slaughtered by another lesser creature.

What the storytellers neglect to whisper beside hearths and wintry bonfires is that these dragons are the true maidens, and the maidens in the tales are but a gust of wind ripping through a bed of glass meadowlarks. The real women of old were warrior queens. Blacksmith daughters and shieldmaidens with political minds and eyes not made of the sea, but bred from the thunder and the moon that lulled the tides. We were always the storms that caused shipwrecks, not the sirens crafted upon wooden vessels. Never a symbol to romanticize, but a tempest to heed caution.

And the feminine skin that grazed across my ribcage was anything but glasslike.

The woman above me was a basilisk with fangs and claws and thrumming blood. Yet, I wasn’t afraid. How could I be, when I too was a creature born from the fury of my predecessors? When her teeth claimed my throat, my hands rose to caress her sides and drag her down further so that our hearts pushed and pulled like waves crashing against a cliffside. The grass beneath me seemed to stretch taller as I sunk lower into the woodland cot. Above me were oak spires, burning leaves, a gloaming sky, and a pair of wild ochre eyes bearing down on me like the missing sun.

 

inhale.

breathing is easy
when you’ve swallowed the sun
and held the sea between your fingers.
sharing breath with the one
who did both with your world,
that is the challenge.

 

excerpt no. iii

      She was ignited in honey light, with a spine unfurled and elongated such as the serpent that sleeps coiled low within her. A crown of splintered teeth adorned the maiden’s forehead, biting into the heavy forest of hair that grew every which way, like the gnarled roots of an ancient tree. Thorns wove up her forearms as sleeves—as armor—and interlocked against her bodice wherein chainmail would cover a man’s chest during battle. But she was not waging war. It would be a difficult feat indeed to prelude something that had been the essence of her existence. Rather, Kadar was lapsing through another day as a misplaced queen amongst a world uprooted in fear and bloodlust. She wasn’t certain which trait fed the other. Only that her skin itched to bathe in dawn one final time before the sun fell and an eternal moon was born.

 

 

story concept no.i

The forest of Fornhaust thrives by virtue of spilled blood. No rainfall vicious enough or ray of sun emblazoned with the heat of a witches pyre could offer life to these woods. It’s roots are thick with the essence of warriors, it’s bark the clout of a weathered blade. Vagabond spirits know not to trespass, for the only creatures more primal than Fornhaust are the maidens who serve it. But when the forest begins to decay for the first time in a two thousand years, the blood of a lone wanderer won’t be enough to satiate it’s hunger. For without immediate care, the trees will seek other means of survival— whether it be by festering its rot towards other thickets…or hunting in familiar lands, to devour its own protectors.

After Queen Freydis of the Vaskr shieldmaidens slaughtered the clan of her betrothed and denounced her ancestral throne, she since opened her barren castle to the wilderness for all women in need of a place to hone their abilities. The forest kingdom hosts an academy of female warriors, high priestesses, and earth witches, all of whom have sworn an oath to Her Highest and offered their skills to protect and serve the Fornhaust. Theyda, the most feral and triumphant warrior birthed by the silt and soil of the woods, is a few months shy of ascending her final task as an apprentice to the great Wilder Witch. On the eve of her ceremonial, a rupture forges deep in the riverbed: ravens fall from the skies, wind shrieks like a mute giantess among the copse of blanched winter pines, and the trees weep black blood. The elders see this as a sign from the gods, and they strip Theyda of her titles— forsaking her to the madness of the dying woods.

To save the land that relinquished her, Theyda and her sister shieldmaidens must seduce two rival kingdoms to venture into the heart of the awakened forest where war must be fought and enough blood spilled to replenish the realm. But while drawing foreign kings within the cusps of battle, and venturing farther than she’s ever been granted passage, Theyda is faced with a morbid realization that could cause Fornhaust to writhe in pestilence forevermore if she doesn’t chose wisely. And wherein the forest is starving, it’s people are rising from the drecks of an ancient curse with a thirst for revolution.

(key story terms:)

  1. Forn— ancient (Old Norse)
  2.  Haust— autumn
  3. Vaskr— brave
  4. Flaugun— fly
  5. Sortna, Myrkva— grow dark
  6. ávotxr— growth
  7. howling— pytr

3. 27. 17

 

SIAD.

Self Injury Awareness Day (SIAD) occurs each year on the first of March. It is an internationally recognized event that was founded to draw attention to those who inflict self harm— so that the people who partake in this act are better understood, and can find a way to cope and subsist. It is important to remember that these victims are, in fact, victims to their own emotions and should be treated like every other human being. Too often are self-injury survivors made out to be stereotypically depressed, asocial, volatile and so on. This isn’t a trend. The most stable, seemingly exuberant person you know could also be harboring a grief greater than you could understand. The glorification of self-injuring acts through certain books, television shows, and songs (etc) are damaging to not only those who truly know what it means to experience such pain, but also to others who are trying to understand what causes a person to go to such lengths in order to feel better.

For those of us who have inflicted self-harm in the past, or are currently struggling with a relapse, remind yourself that you are worth more than your scars. I cannot say that your pain is only temporary, for each person is vastly different than another, but you DO have the power to take control of your body again. It will be hard, but allow close friends and family to help you. You don’t have to seek the aid, but don’t fight it. They only want to see you not suffering. If that isn’t enough, I can speak from experience that the best motivator during a state of depression can be your own voice. Think about all that which you’ve done, and all of what you can do. We see you. And you are not alone in this battle.

Originally, I had planned to provide a lengthy list of (mostly YA) books that deal with self injury or depression. I spent a good few hours pouring over GoodReads and other blogger’s recommendations for novels of the such, but not even a few minutes into writing up my post I realized how wrong it felt. As I’ve stated before, I have a history with self injury. This was years ago, and I am proud to declare that I’ve been healthier and happier ever since. I should also state that I’m not an ardent fan of contemporary as I am fantasy/sci-fi, and most books that include self injury are contemporary. Thus, I’ve only truly read a few, and that was such a long time ago that I can barely remember what I had read— only that it made an impact. That being said, I could easily recommend the books I’ve read and declare them “novels that teach you how to cope with self injury.” But then I would be lying.

We all have different opinions on the matter, but personally I feel as though most of these books work counter productively towards those who deal with self harm. Why read about someone else’s painful story when you are going through your own? I find it very triggering, and as of present we still do not include trigger warnings in books of any kind. Perhaps this seems like a reach to you, and I can see how, but let me rephrase this. Someone who is seeking help via a book about a character going through similar situations won’t necessarily find solace in a fictional person who is bringing up all of the reader’s repressed emotions and paranoia. Now, I am certain there are books out there that are written wonderfully and truly can help a reader deal with their illness, however I would feel terribly hypocritical to recommend books that I personally have not read to someone who is putting their trust in my hands with an ailment that directly impacts their life.

Although, there is one book that I can safely say will empower you.

Rather, the book of poems by acclaimed feminist and poet, Rupi Kaur, titled Milk and Honey, has a section that deals entirely with healing. So instead of reviewing her book right here (which I have done before: the full review can be found under my review section of the blog), I’m going to paste some of my favorite quotes/ poems created by her.

“stay strong through your pain
grow flowers from it
you have helped me
grow flowers out of mine so
bloom beautifully
dangerously
loudly
bloom softly
however you need
just bloom”

“what is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives”

“if you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise”

“most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
means nothing
this page
where you’re sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them”

“do not look for healing
at the feet of those
who broke you”

“it was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole.”

“the world gives you so much pain and here you are making gold out of it -”

“your art
is not about how many people
like your work
your art
is about
if your heart likes your work
if your soul likes your work
it’s about how honest
you are with yourself
and you
must never
trade honesty
for relatability”

“you tell me to quiet down cause
my opinions make me less beautiful
but i was not made with a fire in my belly
so i could be put out
i was not made with a lightness on my tongue
i was made heavy
half blade and half silk
difficult to forget and not easy
for the mind to follow”

“I want to apologize to all the women I have called beautiful before I’ve called them intelligent or brave.

I am sorry I made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is all you have to be proud of when you have broken mountains with your wit.

From now on I will say things like you are resilient, or you are extraordinary not because I don’t think you’re beautiful, but because I need you to know you are more than that.”

Slut Shaming in YA Literature

“i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful
before i’ve called them intelligent or brave
i am sorry i made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is all you have to be proud of
when you have broken mountains with your wit
from now on i will say things like
you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
not because i don’t think you’re beautiful
but because i need you to know
you are more than that”
― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey


In a time where unity sounds more like a fable than a fact, fighting oppression is vital for survival. Two of the most prominent oppressors of our generation are racism and sexism, both of which are constantly being disputed yet still remain an uphill battle. It’s easy to question why nothing has changed when you’ve put such effort into making a difference, but the fact of the matter still stands to reason that each little movement makes up a part of one giant revolt. The minimal things you do to help support equality will carry on to inspire others around you. Which is why I find proper representation in Young Adult literature to be essential for teaching readers how to be accepting and understanding, and to reassure them of their worth in this war-torn world. And while I promise to write another post about the racial inequality in YA, I wan’t to focus firstly on the gender bias that exists.

There is a certain stereotype that in retrospect appears harmless but can cause grave amounts of damage which can be found in plenty of novels, especially ones in the contemporary genre. The so called “mean girl” antagonist that materializes in a book is often depicted as someone who wears a lot of makeup, revealing clothing, lacks intelligence, and is outwardly racist and/or homophobic. However many prototypes of this character exist, they all seem to have the same overlooked trope in common— their reasoning for being antagonistic. From my perspective, it would seem as though they have every right to be hostile towards the main characters, what with the blatant slut shaming these women are facing. Authors tend to use the downfall of one character to elevate the innocence and uniqueness of their main character— and these two are typically the a) high school mean girl vs. b) victimized leading protagonist.

This is incredibly sexist.

slut-shame-3

slut-shame-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Without understanding the way in which these authors are portraying their main character, they want to utilize the antagonist’s pain as a way to support the protagonist’s “goodness.” Regularly the bully finds herself in a definitive position where “her strawberry blond hair was combed into low pigtails, and like always, her skin was concealed under half a bottle of foundation. I (*the protagonist) was fairly certain I’d guessed the right amount, since there wasn’t a trace of her freckles in sight (….) There was three-quarters of an inch between the hem of her skirt and the start of her underwear…if she was even wearing any.” The prior is a direct quote from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush young adult series. It was the first introduction of Marcie Millar, a character who is only further slut shamed and then disgraced even after her death.

I would like to first point out that the usage of makeup on any given person does not equate to their beauty or self-worth. The choice of wearing the products is for personal gratification ONLY. If it makes someone feel more confident to conceal a blemish with a remedy, so be it. If it makes someone feel empowering to wear hues of golden eyeshadow, dark lips, and wonderfully painted cheekbones, so be it. If someone feels beautiful without wearing makeup at all but respects that others feel the opposite, so be it. By demonizing a woman because she wears “too much” makeup, or because she dresses a certain way, we are objectifying her character simply because of a choice she made to feel better about herself—one that has nothing to do with anyone else. Using this stereotype in a YA setting, where readers are looking to enjoy the story but also learn from these characters, an author is misguiding their audience into believing that shaming another person because of the way they appear is alright.

It is interesting how the bully becomes the bullied the further you read these stories.

Slut-shaming is an atrocity that can be defeated by speaking out whenever you see or hear it occurring. Let the accuser know why they are in the wrong, and help them see that by degrading another person for the way in which they decide to decorate themselves, they are only hindering their own appearance.

slut-shame

“Many believe that the usage of these derogatory terms online through memes, social media accounts, and music videos all contribute to a rape culture, where women are blamed and men excused in cases of sexual assault or rape.”— Foothill Dragon Press

If you see this happening in any book, I highly encourage you to talk about it. Inform others of what you notice, and respectfully contact the author with your concerns. They most likely wont be able to fix something in a book that has already been published, but they certainly can learn from their mistakes so to not repeat them in the future. Help put an end to girls shaming girls, and we can start to unite women by uplifting one another instead of tearing us down because of how we look.

With that being said, I’ll leave you with this: A secondary character is only as secondary as you let them appear. If they’ve awaken an emotion in you that the protagonist couldn’t, then to you they are the primary. And all characters should be treated carefully, for even though you might not see their importance, someone else will, and any harmful representation can cause vast damage to a reader’s morale.

Forthcoming Features

Forthcoming Features

In this new blog segment I recently came up with around three-forty in the morning after stubbing my toe on a pile of books on my way into the kitchen for a large glass of my beloved orange juice…(deep breath)…I’ll be talking about all the new books, movies, bands, etc that I’ve been wanting to read, watch, and listen to! Essentially this will be a monthly update on my current preferences in regards to..well—everything. As noted before, this idea came to me at a peculiar time and I’m typing it up at an even odder hour of the night. I hope you enjoy!


B O O K S

When is my #TBR not stock full of books? Never. It never is.

Currently I’m making my way through a few books at once, but it’s been a struggle to stick to one story with my awful work schedule, wayward friends, and recently moved into new home. My top three books of the month are strange in their own unique ways, but that’s exactly how I love my books.

1.           Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić is a German book that was recently translated to English. After work one day I was browsing through the literature section with one of my coworkers when we both spotted this beautiful book cover and grabbed two copies off the shelf. We wound up both buying them, although I believe he has already finished the book while I’m only a few chapters in. Regardless, this is definitely not your average novel.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Goodreads Synopsis: It’s the night before the feast in the village of Fürstenfelde (population: an odd number). The village is asleep. Except for the ferryman – he’s dead. And Mrs Kranz, the night-blind painter, who wants to depict her village for the first time at night. A bell-ringer and his apprentice want to ring the bells – the only problem is that the bells have gone. A vixen is looking for eggs for her young, and Mr Schramm is discovering more reasons to quit life than smoking.

Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people. They come together in a novel about a long night, a mosaic of village life, in which the long-established and newcomers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners and noble robbers in football shirts bump into each other. They all want to bring something to a close, in this night before the feast.

2.           The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak reminds me of a few books I’ve read and loved, yet also sounds unlike most of the things I read. It was a win-win situation.

Goodreads Synopsis: In her latest novel, Turkey’s preeminent female writer spins an epic tale spaProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetnning nearly a century in the life of the Ottoman Empire. In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history.

Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces—the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques—dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices. A memorable story of artistic freedom, creativity, and the clash between science and fundamentalism, Shafak’s intricate novel brims with vibrant characters, intriguing adventure, and the lavish backdrop of the Ottoman court, where love and loyalty are no match for raw power.

3.           Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman. Pratchett’s hilarity mixed with Gaiman’s weirdness couldn’t have birthed a more Tim Burton-esuq type of novel. This sounds incredible, and unique (esepcially when it comes to what I often read…which isn’t this, but how could I have resisted such a synopsis?)Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Goodreads Synopsis: According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since

The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

M U S I C

My music taste is a mix between indie, alternative, and folk. Recently I’ve been listening to bands like Cold War Kids, Lord Huron, and Wild Nothing. Yu can find all of my playlists on 8tracks under the username: SeelieKnight. For now, check out these songs that have helped me get through this hectic month of July!

Cold War Kid: Miracle Mile

Lord Huron: Meet Me In the Woods

Wild Nothing: Summer Holiday

M O V I E S — T V 

Queuing on my Netflix is the recently acclaimed short series Stranger Things. One of my coworkers mentioned this show to me a week ago and told me he believed I would like it because I also enjoy American Horror Story and generally anything involving an eerie, somewhat ambiguous plot. He and I would often rave about Game of Thrones (still not over this seasons finale) and so he told me I needed to watch Stranger Things so that we could obsess over another show to pass time at work. I promised him I would look into it…but naturally I forgot about the show an hour later. It wasn’t until Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle, started tweeting about it that I remembered what my friend had said. And to top it off, the following week I hung out with a very asocial friend of mine who doesn’t typically like mainstream things but was exuberant about this new Netflix series. Okay. All those things sold me. I had to see what the hype was about…and damn, was it worth it. I freaking love this show! I’m currently on episode three, but I can tell it’s going to be amazing just from a cinematography view point alone. (Bonus: Winona Ryder plays the mother!)
Stranger Things Synopsis: When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.

Another film that I’m interested in seeing is Captain Fantastic. First, just look up this movie and watch one of the trailers (preferably on the IMDB website). It certainly does look fantastic—especially since it takes place in the Pacific Northwest, where—if you’ve been following me on twitter or somehow visiting my dreams—is the #1 place in the entire world I want to visit the most. Forget saving up for a new car, I’m saving up for gas money to haul my crapy Honda across the US to get tho the PNW and see sequoia trees for the first time.

This movie looks very nostalgic, melancholy, and witty. The cinematography from the trailer alone seems spot on, and I love the casting choices. This somewhat reminds me of a Wes Anderson type of movie: aesthetically pleasing, uplifting, yet uses humor and whit to disguise pain and suffering.

Captain Fantastic Synopsis: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

F O O D

Suddenly I really love avocado? 10/10 would recommend. (Oh, and if you ever find yourself in NYC and you also happen to love avocado, try the Australian brunch restaurant Bluestone Lane! Everything on that menu has some avocado in it.)


 

That’s it for this month! I’ll have another FF up near the end of August!