Wednesday, 2 November 2016

October's Arrow // Starting Sparks: November

The clouds pass on; they from the heavens depart: 
I look--the sky is empty space;
I know not what I trace;
But, when I cease to look, my hand is on my heart.
~ William Wordsworth, 'Tis Said, That Some Have Died for Love

It's hard to believe that winter is nearly upon us, that 2016 is entering its first death throes. 

tumblr_ofz6uv7emx1qz6f9yo5_1280.jpg (960×767):
October. I turned eighteen: an increased wage, the ability legally to buy alcohol, and the complete right to vote. Definitely the best birthday for a while, spent with lovely friends old and new.

what can I say?: { how to live } a chronically ill christian:
What else? Working until, suddenly, I found I loved my job (the sparkly trainers one); finishing that job with a heavy heart and moving to a new one. My first day was on Sunday. It is very different, in some good ways, some bad ones.

Working Sundays sucks. I feel I have compromised myself, but on the other hand I am earning money for Kenya ... It is a difficult one. Pray for me.

Gabrielle Assaf // [source]
I'm not sure what else to report about my life. I feel I'm on an inexorable trajectory towards Kenya and I'm trying not to let that dominate me. In Colossians 3:15 it says, Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts", which is both a big encouragement and a massive challenge.

 [source] // “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20)

In Writing

I have had a good writing month!

I am quite terribly in love with Stay in the City. What is happening? A LOT OF BATTLES -- paired with agonies of waiting around with no idea what's going on -- and a lot of broken hearts.

Little Moon Elephant: How to See The Best of The Republic of Ireland in Three Days:
[source] // Amy-Anne Williams // Republic of Ireland


[source] // heck, we all wish someone had told them that.
[source] // Jem // give me a moment to sob for a thousand years.
I have been having attacks of THIS BOOK IS TERRIBLE IT MAKES NO SENSE EVERYONE WILL DEFINITELY HATE IT, but then I play myself a calming lullaby on the violin* and croon, “It's draft one, it's draft one, it's draft one!"
*Metaphorically. I do not, unfortunately, actually play the violin. 

I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.:
[source] // I love this
Also, the characters always cheer me up when I am discouraged. Mel has dyed her hair green!
Jem comes in as we’re starting and forces us to open a window [because of the bleach fumes]. “I don’t want you to die!” he says, coughing. 
“We are dyeing!” I say, holding up the dye, “get it, dyeing,” and after Mel and I have laughed at this for about five minutes Jem gives up and leaves.
~ from Stay in the City 

More than friends quotes quote friends friendship quotes funny quotes:
In Books

It was a good reading month! I had a great time with Wordsworth and Coleridge (for my review of Lyrical Ballads click here), and Georgia Nicolson never fails to bring joy and gladness to my heart (though I am very perturbed to only have one book left out of ten!). Percy Jackson likewise is the love of my soul, although he himself was sadly lacking in The Lost Hero (not that I didn't love Jason and the gang by the end. And the Roman-ness! SO FASCINATING, I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT ONE)The Outsider was weird but interesting.

I read The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

Reading another book by the author of your favourite book is always going to be a risk, but I can confirm it was marvellous. I did not love it the way I love The Goldfinch, but because there are only a handful of books I love as much as I love The Goldfinch, that is kind of immaterial.
Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,' that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn't. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.
The opening line. Is that not more or less the best hook you have ever read?


So yes, it was wonderful, and I shall post a review in due course. My other favourite was Time's Arrow by Martin Amis, which I LOVED.
I'm being immature. I've got to get over it. I keep expecting the world to make sense. It doesn't. It won't. Ever.
I have far too much to say about this book, so I shall leave you in eager anticipation (Shut up. I can dream.) of my review. 

Also, Shakespeare's Sonnets. Absolutely mind-blowing. He is the foundation of every word written since, the alpha, the fountainhead. It is almost inconceivable that one writer achieved so much: he was a planet amongst stars, in a world of streams an ocean. And yet he was a man, a real man of flesh and blood and love and hate and hope and disappointment. That's why Sonnet 27 is my favourite -- click here to read -- because when I read it I realised, yes, he was a real person. He lay in bed and could not sleep for thinking about someone, just as I have done. He had a soul.

Starting Sparks: November

Starting Sparks is a monthly writing link-up run by the inimitable Ashley, and also by me. For more info go to the page. (Yes, we have a page; we're very professional. *ahem*)
November prompt
There a lot of brilliant nursery rhymes -- click here for a helpful Wiki list -- and I think they have a lot of scope for stories. Ring-A-Ring O' Roses is about the Great Plague: London in 1665 to 1666, on the cusp of the Great Fire! What about Georgie Peorgie Pudding and Pie, who kissed the girls and made them cry? How do the girls feel? What about the ten thousand grumbling soldiers of the Grand Old Duke of York, mutinying as they're forced to march up and down, up and down? That polygamous traveller to St Ives? The slightly demonic children going round and round the mulberry bush, obsessively washing their faces and brushing their hair? Who is going to write the star-crossed love story of the dish who ran away with the spoon?

I am sorry, my dear chums, that I've posted this a day late (but none of you were waiting with pens quivering in hands, were you? So really, no harm done). Anyway, my failures aside, I look forward to reading your nursery rhyme inspired tales!


Lemony Snicket:
With this, my newest favourite thing, I leave you. How has your October been? Farewell, my friends, until we meet again.



  1. Belated birthday wishes! Seems like being 18 is pretty much the same in Ireland and England.

    I'm glad you had a good writing month and a good reading month of course!

    Have a nice day <3

  2. I have to read Donna Tartt one of these days! I like the sound of this month's topic - plus, that gif! :D

    Happy Belated Birthday, Emily!

    1. Um, YEAH YOU DO. I love that gif so much XD And thanks <3

  3. I need to have a good reading month, I have barely read anything.
    Love the prompt.

    1. I'm sure you'll find something to trigger you! I'm glad you like it :)

  4. Happy Adulthood! In America, the legal age for alcohol purchase, consumption, etc. is 21, so I still have almost two years for that, but I don't really mind. I got to have a couple drinks while in the Bahamas last year though, since it's also 18 there. Best of luck with your work and with your reading.

    1. Thanks, Patrick! I do find the three-year difference an odd one.

  5. Happy belated Birthday, first of all!

    I like that dyeing snippet, it reminds me of when I used to dye wool. I made jokes like that each and every time. I couldn't help it.

    I had fun with the last Starting Sparks, and I would love to be able to do it again. I'm not sure if I will be able to make it this month, but I can try.

    1. Thank you!

      Ha, I'm glad XD And that's very cool that you dyed wool!

      I saw you linked up, I can't wait to read it! <3

  6. Happy rather belated birthday! Voting was honestly the biggest thing I was excited about when I turned 18. Others kept mentioning, "oh, you can drink now!" and I was thinking, "I don't care, just HAND ME THAT BALLOT AND LET MY VOICE BE HEARD." Okay, maybe not quite so intense, but still. XD

    Aww, leaving a job you enjoyed is sad. What's your new job? I hope the adjustment is going well!

    So happy to hear you're loving SitC and making progress! It IS a first draft, something I'm having to remind myself of constantly these days. :P But we've got this! We'll conquer these first drafts!

    Hope your November has been lovely thus far!

    1. Thanks! Ha, I think drinking is potensh a bigger thing for me because it actually, uh, happens, whereas I'm not definitely going to get to vote until 2020 ... but still! I am excited by the idea. (And I think there'll be a referendum before then, anyway!)

      It is sad <3

    2. Wait a minute, what the frick frack happened there?? I left a proper comment replying to all elements of yours! Half of it has disappeared! Pfft. Well. To summarise, new job is at a big department store, I'm not lovin' it, and YES WE WILL CONQUER! XD

    3. Silly Blogger, eating up half your comment!

      That makes sense. *nods* 2020 sounds so far away, though...

      Aw, I'm sorry to hear the new job is not what you wanted. :( I hope and pray it leads to better things!

    4. Very silly! 2020 is far away ... ((though not that far away?? Actually?? How weird!))

      Thanks very much for your prayers! :*

  7. "entering its first death throes" -- Man, I love those words!

    So I'm sorry things have been turbulent. I realize that this post is oldish, so I hope things are going better now? But I do love the verses that you shared. Letting Jesus give me peace of mind is so difficult.

    Kenya shall be awesome! Keep going and never fear. ;)

    And HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY! *brings cake*

    I'm so glad that SitC is going well! (And I do so love that Mary gif; she rocks.) War and waiting, mayhem and broken hearts. YEEEEAAAAH! Except did you say something about Jem? What are you DOING TO JEM?! Or rather the characters in the story, or the war, or, or. . . but Jem?! D: *composes self* I did finally send you feedback on TCATT which I happen to ADORE! (and I hope my comments were helpful *runs and hides*).

    All of these books! You make me want to read them.

    I love that last Sherlock gif and your interpretation. XD Okay, so now I'm more inspired for this nursery rhyme prompt. You got me thinking of it differently, so yeah. I think I can do this!

    1. Thanks! :*

      And thank you. Things are ok, I don't adore my new job but work is work ... I love that verse from Colossians so much! It is difficult, though.

      Thanks! And thanks again! ~eats cake~ (wish I had cake irl, tbh. I'm hungry.)

      THANK YOU! I had a really good sesh today (a good ten pages) before realising that actually I need to go back and change a bunch of stuff. Which can be annoying when you're proud of what you've written. But Thomas Edison said “I didn't fail, I found a thousand ways that wouldn't work", and I think that's really helpful. The time you spend writing scenes -- maybe even good scenes! -- that you then have to scrap isn't wasted!

      YOU DID SEND TCATT FEEDBACK, AS I JUST SAID IN ANOTHER THREAD YOU ARE AMAZING! I shall email you back forthwith. (And, uh, no, nothing bad has happened to Jem ... we're all really happy ... he's great, Corrie's great, I'm great ... *coughcough*)

      You should!

      I'm so keen! Though I've not started my story yet D: (But I have planned it fairly well? Go me!)


Thanks for commenting! :)