Pretty Book Pictures 

Hello, folks. 

I hope you are living the most marvelous, exciting and beautiful day of your lives. 

I hope that I am not, not yet, because my day has been quiet boring and only slightly productive, but I am good, nonetheless.

I have photographed some books in the past couple of days and I wanted to share the fruitful results kf my work with you, in a bookstagram-ish experience. I am not particularly skilled, and all the photos were took with my phone, which is not highly qualified either, but I find loads of pleasure in setting things up, clicking on the camera button and then playing around with filters and saturation. 

I hope you will find them chromatically pleasing. 

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Words That Sting And Sing and Fly

Hello, hello, how are your last days of December? Mine are fine, but they don’t look like December, not in the very least. I have flowers blooming in my garden and green green green grass growing everywhere and it makes the Christmas spirit commit suicide. It is not even cold. So I am up for floral Christmas this year and not even that mad about it, now that I’m thinking about how nice it sounds – floral Christmas. The Earth laughing in colors around small lights and evergreen trees. Special, right?

So special it would need a word of itself. A word for everything, wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing. And by that I don’t mean leaf, leaves, tree, trees, cookie, cookies,  sheet, sheets, hour, hourglass, flower, bouquet, but thisfeelingIhaveinmychestwhenitachesfromtheneedofhumanaffection .  That type of self defining and independent word.A word that would act in the wordsociety the same way feminists act in a society made of women and men.  Whimsical and made out of laughter. A word to get it all. A word so full, words so full, that we would not need sentences or grammar or spelling – no, we would just get some syllabi out through our gritted teeth and we would be understood. Fully , completely.

I believe in such extraordinary words – words that name it that shall not be named, words that break and mend, words you can dive into and never get out of. Portal-words, magic-words, spells and darkness humming around blazing light. Simple words and careful ones. They are my myth, my belief and my hope. Words. And if I find them, the true ones, I hope I won’t be able to ever write them down. Because when bumping against my skull, they would lose some flavor. When fighting their way through my veins, they would lose their rhythm.

But I sort of stumble over mythical words. Not indeed mythical, but rather interesting. Peculiar. Filled with sense and understanding. I collect such words. And I decided to write them here today. Without definition, if I find it important for you to think about it a little , even if you don’t have the time to look it up in the dictionary. Just absorb letters, they are a nice conditioner for your soul.

By the way, they are not all in English, obviously. Also, I am going to write them with various colours, in various ways, because I think it is a good idea. Might turn out to be a difficult to read thing, but I am still in artist-mood today, so please allow me my little colors.

KENOPSIA – THE EERIE, FORLORN ATMOSPHERE OF A PLACE THAT IS USUALLY BUSTLING WITH PEOPLE BUT THAT IS NOW ABANDONED AND QUIET .

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o  n  i  s  m

t h e    frustration   o f  b e i n g   stuck  in  j u s t   one   b o d y, t h a t   in  ha  bi  ts   only   one   place   at    a   t i m e

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Quint Buchholz (German, b. 1957, Stolberg, Germany) – Der Flug (The Flight), 1987 Paintings

ir i d esc e n    t  – producing a display or rainbowlike colors

E P I P H A N Y – a moment of sudden revelation

.

brontide: pronunciation:

pronunciation |  “am-u-‘ran-THEn:

pronunciation |:

I am going to stop now and maybe edit this later with more various words. Because words are nice, but my mood is not and I feel like cheering up a bit with some shots of strong words, nice, burning ones. See you tomorrow, with an original “tag”, I hope, because I really don’t like the ones going around. May the words be with you !

The Very Festive “Christmas Song” Book Tag

You may or may not have noticed that I shamelessly broke my promise. Didn’t write a word yesterday, not even one. And I don’t feel guilty about it, because I painted and it’s fair enough for me.

It’s 7PM right now, but I had a strange day and it feels like 1AM . I want to sleep. And by sleep I don’t mean kindly leave myself into a self sufficiency sweet and powerful enough to get my brain into an”Obliviate” state, but rather sleep-die. Sleep-disconnect. Sleep-act like that guy from “Avatar” when he got out of the blue body. Sleep-shut everything off for a while. Sleep- zoom out and figure things out. Sleep-allow yourself the time to gently and carefully fold your ideas, the way you do with your clothes, arranging them by color and length.

For no particular reason.

I don’t have anything in mind today, anything I can write a decent amount of words about without stumbling and falling into a sleepless state, and I don’t feel sarcasm under my skin either, poking its way through my fingers. That’s what not having any idea how to zoom out make me feel. An almost nice person.

Taking this into account, I am going to write a different type of thing today, one that I am not really accustomed to – I’m going to do a taaaaag. A type of post that is quite informational and cheerful, if you think about it. So, as only three days are left between me and Christmas, I decided ( after really trying not to fit into the pattern and 15 minutes of searching a set of enjoyable questions spring-related) that I would do:

THE CHRISTMAS SONG BOOK TAG

1) “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” – Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

*I am already dealing with the “Have I ever read any book…what is this question.. do I know any character at all?” syndrome, so it is going pretty well.*

I could obviously choose Snape or Sebastian a.k.a. Jonathan here, but I’m pretty sure every other person on the planet did it , so me and my unearthly independence of thought shall not allow such a thing as a stereotypical answer, so I am going to go with… Sauron. Neah, just kidding, he is way too purely evil for such a nice person like myself.

My truthful answer shall be the Darkling from the “Grisha” trilogy. I have to be honest here and to admit the fact that I liked every single thing he said, did or destroyed in those books. Because, as much as I would like to deny it, his power- summoning the darkness- , the way his and Alina’s powers fitted so nicely, his very, very, very tumultuous past and his slightly psychotic behavior never, ever bothered me, not even a little. Also, those last words he said to the ever naive Alina, the revelation of his real name and his vulnerability altogether were the only things that made me sob during reading that series, which I both liked and disliked, as always. And by sob, I am talking about shedding some tears at 4AM back in August and some way too shaky breaths muffled by my pillow.

2)”All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree this year?

Whereas I lack the ability to recall things about books I read, I own the very advanced skill to add books to my “Wishlist” on every online library ever. So I know the answer to this one. Really simple, I suppose, but the book I would really love to get this year – and I am perfectly aware that I won’t – is the illustrated copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” – written by the queen herself, J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay.  I saw it in flesh when I went to Bucharest last month and..and… let’s avoid inserting words here, because the beauty of that book is not translatable. You have to see it and touch it and hold it to know. Magic.

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Not my picture, obviously, but I am going to leave it here for you to gaze at and admire.
3)”Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” – Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.
Well, taking into account the fact that almost every single book I’ve ever read had this component of self growth and learning to believe in yourself, it is really difficult to choose. Celaena Sardothien (whose real name was not used so that innocent people wouldn’t be spoiled) from “Throne of Glass” series by Sarah J. Maas, Vin from “Mistborn”, Kelsea from “The Queen of the Tearling”, Julliete from “Shatter Me”, Cress from “The Lunar Chronicles”, Heather from “Panic”, Lena from “Delirium”, Inej and Kaz from “Six of Crows”, Alina from “Grisha”, Kat from “Fangirl”, Mare from “The Red Queen”, Violet from “All the Bright Places”, Fire, Bitterblue and Katsa from “Graceling Realm”.
It doesn’t really matter what YA book you open, you will, for sure, find somebody struggling with believing in himself. These are just some examples that came to my mind , characters that aren’t as popular and Katmiss, Tris, Percy and Harry, but overcome the same processes by embracing themselves.
4)”Santa Clause is Coming to Town” – a) Which character do you think is at the top of the naughty list an b) which character do you think is at the top of the nice list?
Okay, this is way too easy. a) – Sauron, obviously. Seriously now, did you really think Voldemort could take his place? Not really, from my point of view. b) – Well, I have no idea. Really, I don’t think all that much about the nice people in books. But I suppose Jem is there, on the top of the nice list. Because…well, because he is Jem.
5)”Frosty the Snowman” – Which book just melts your heart?
None. My soul is made of wind and ice and stone and no book can get to it. Not even the ones about suicide and mental illness or the over-fluffy YAs I had the mischance  to read, forced by no one, this year.
6)”Feliz Navidad” – Pick a book that takes place in a country other than your own.
Taking into account that absolutely no book, except for the Romanian ones, takes place in Romania, I could pick anything. Because almost everything takes place in America, the UK, all over Europe or in a parallel universe. So…
7)”It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Which Christmas book do you use to spread the Christmas joy.
Brace yourselves, here come my personal classics. Everything and anything Harry Potter, even if we are talking about J.K. Rowling’s groceries list –  not really, but Harry Potter tales never fail to bring such a wonderful joy in my stone cold heart. “Stardust” by Neil Gaiman, as well as “The Hobbit” and The “Lord Of The Rings” series. The last three mentions might be influenced by my great love for fantasy and the fact that I read all these books on Christmas break, cup of hot cocoa in my hand, so the atmosphere is still with me. I may also note the fact that I generally associate fantasy, magic and a badass plot to happiness and winter holidays, so these books might not work for everybody.
8)”Sleigh Ride” – Which character would you choose to spend the holidays with?
This is a very, very tough question. But I think that I would choose Kell from “A Darker Shade Of Magic” to share my Christmas with. Because I like him very much and I would really love to visit some other particularly interesting wolds that happen to intersect in London.
9)”Baby It’s Cold Outside” – which book, that you didn’t like, would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?
Look, let’s be clear, I do not and will not sacrifice books in such purposes, but taking into account the fact that I really want to finish these 10 seasonal question, I am going to go with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th books of “Fallen” by Lauren Kate. Will not explain.
10)”Do You Hear What I Hear?” – Which book do you think everyone should read?
I really don’t know what to choose here, because, whereas I have many suggestions  – especially YA ones – for everybody, all the time, I don’t know what to recommend to the whole planet. Oh, actually I do. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry . If you click on the name, you will be teleported to his Goodreads page. There, you can mark “The Little Prince” as “To Be Read” or ” currently reading” and thank me later.
Seriously talking, it is one of the best books I’ve ever, ever read. Because it sums up some principles that have the potential to change you. And that is the most wonderful thing.
Yeepee. Finally done with this overly festive tag. Hope you enjoyed my very qualified answers, I will try to return tomorrow with something new to say.

 

 

Childhood Movies & Bits of Russian History

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 Heart, don’t fail me now
 Courage, don’t desert me
 Don’t turn back now that we’re here.

Really inspired, aren’t I?

Have I fallen into the deep pool of melancholy? Yes. Oh, and how I have, but it doesn’t bother me, not in the very least.

Because having rewatched “Anastasia” tonight, after so many years, has brought lots of things back on my mind and gave me an idea for today’s post. The one which was not, in fact, supposed to exist, due to my greatness.

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I was blunt in my way of explaining that title I wrote there and I’m just realizing it, but I am not going to press “Delete” because I want you to feel like you are listening to me rambling about one of the only coherent things left of my wondrous childhood. Which you basically are, after all.

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Ten years ago today ( I have no idea whether the date is the 19th of December or not, but it was cold outside and snow was falling hard and the house was warm and smelled of burnt earth, so I am just going to pretend, for better aesthetics, that it was the 19th of December.).

Ten years ago today – or something like that – my parents came home with a cassette. We used to have this machine in which we would introduce the cassettes and watch movies. Cartoons. “The Titanic” one million times. That time, it was “Anastasia”. People had come at our house for some sort of loud celebratory reunion, I have no idea what it was. But on the small screen of the voluminous TV we had back then, the tale of a lost Russian princess was taking form. And I remember how my father accidentally stepped on the small piano I had back then and how I couldn’t bring myself to care because it was cold outside and the translation to “Once Upon A December” has rhymes. I was haunted by this song. Sort of. I was haunted by the idea of musical box. I have been haunted, ever since, by how beautiful the name Anya sounds to my European ears and how wonderfully similar it is to my own name. I’ve pretended, for years and years, that my old plain Ana was short for Anastasia and I was the lost princess of some glistening kingdom.

Far away, long ago,
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart
Used to know
,
Things it yearns to remember

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If you aren’t aware, this animated movie ( which is not a Disney one, for that matter ) is based onto the controversial death of the Romanov family , back in 1918, and the hypothesis that one of the five children of the family, the youngest daughter, Anastasia, might have survived the execution. This possibility, one of the most approached theories of the 20th century, was demonstrated to be false during the 70s.

The plot surrounds the journey of the true Anastasia, ten years after the Revolution, in 1926,struggling to find her family, as she couldn’t remember a thing about her past, Dimitri  – the kid who had saved her, during the revolution, from being taken by the Bolsheviks, along with her family, and the one and only love interest – and Vlad, a guy who used to be part of the Imperial Court, to Paris, where the mother of the Tsar, Empress Maria, had managed to escape. While adventurous and interesting, it needed a dark side, didn’t it? So we have the second component of the plot – Rasputin, the Russian monk whose legend is closely associated to the Romanov family, had cursed them, announcing their deaths – by managing to escape, Anastasia threw him in some sort of anti-place where he couldn’t actually reach his powers or the human world, but rather discomposed in a  very slow manner. So when he finds out he actually is alive and well, he decides to send his creepy green minions that actually look like some sort of fluorescent bats to kill her. They fail, obviously.

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I don’t want to make this a sum up of the movie, but rather a formulation of a question that has popped into my mind. A question that I feel the need to ask, but I don’t believe I can do it without offering you some historical background.

Meanwhile.

This is the full soundtrack of the movie, simply fantastic. Great. Wonderful. I suggest “Once Upon A December”, “Journey To The Past
” and “Prologue”.

Because, as much as I love this movie –  the characters, the graphics, the lines, the music, the atmosphere , the music again and again – it is terribly inaccurate to the Russian history. Terribly. An euphemism, almost disrespectfully regarding a matter which I have no idea how to approach, because I don’t know if Russians look upon this violent episode of their history with sorrow, or rather see it as a step in their development.

So. Historical context.

The last dynasty of rulers the Russian people had was the Romanov dynasty, Tsar Nikolai II, father of Great Duchess Anastasia, being the last Tsar Russia would ever have. He and his political system were to be violently removed in December 1916 by the Bolsheviks. Two years later, his whole family would be executed.

My question is, then –  is watching and making popular such historical – related works of fiction, that clearly diverge from a very crude and painful reality, romanticizing it greatly, a good thing?

Truth to be told, this movie was what would spark, years later, my interest in Romanov’s history. The reason for which I did quite some research and read some books and.

I’m going to stop here, I suppose, for I don’t feel in the position to talk about historical manners as if I have a great historical knowledge. I don’t. But these things passed through my mind while humming “Once Upon A December”.

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See you tomorrow.

Again, not literally see you .

 

 

 

Plans and citruses

Hello, wonderful individuals, I am back with all my spirit and ready for a full of writing Christmas break. Because, yes, I am officially free and unbound, ready to spend as much time as I want ( a decent amount, though) in front of my laptop, eating clementines ( a not so decent amount) and enjoying life and cold.

I feel like writing about my so called “Holiday Posting Plan” (name invented by me, so it is not really great), so I am going to start off easily by explaining my great plan. ( Nota Bene : Anytime I use the word “plan”, “Home Alone” Kevin pops into my mind with his colorful, yet ridiculously smart strategies. I, for sure, don’t possess that type of intelligence, but I am trying.)

So, given my current state – a.k.a. student on holiday – I’m going to ambitiously try to post daily , starting today and until the 10th of January 2016 – feels very very weird to write that year – aiming to do some boook reviews, some tags that I’ve seen around, even if nobody has ever tagged me because I don’t have many friends with blogs, because I am weird, and basically just annoying everybody unfortunate enough to stumble upon this monumental proof of my genius. Again, note my sarcasm.

The fact is, I really, really want to develop this small small place and I reallly don’t plan on wasting my three weeks of freedom and snow.

That would be all for today, I suppose, see you soon.

Not actually “see” you, obviously. Euphemisms.