My Raven Girl

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The yellow leaves are yours, their color so vivid against the blood red veins. They’re exquisitely unique, rare beauties. Like you.

I select the fairest of them and place it reverently aside before piling the rest into a golden mound and placing my palm to the top. No one else need see these, they’re meant for only us, and I won’t share them with any undeserving fool who enters my forest. I close my eyes to better concentrate and pull deep from that inner well of heat until the familiar tang of smoldering foliage reaches my nostrils.

Leaning back on my heels, I observe as the leaves succumb to my power, crumbling one after another into fine, white-grey ash. My thoughts drift back to you — as they often do — and the thrill of your power and mine. We were made to compliment the other, your flames and my ash. You were born for me, just as I was for you. What would it feel like, I wonder, to be burned by you? To see your body marked by my ashes?

Quicker than thought, I reach into the crackling collection and snatch out one last golden leaf, marveling as the heat pulses against my pale skin. My prize is still pristine, still perfect. Twisting the brittle stalk, I place it next to yours in safety.

Yours I’ll leave on our table in the forest, mine I’ll take home with me tonight to better think of you. Your beauty, your grace, your kindness, your power, and your Spirit. One day they’ll be mine, you’ll give them to me freely I know. But we have time yet, my Raven-Girl. We have time. Until then I can dream. I can plan.

*This is just a little flash fiction in the point of view of one of my characters from my WIP Ashes, I hope you enjoy it!  And I’m sorry for repeatedly posting things from the Moonstonemaiden vault all week my lovelies, but I’ve been a bit sore and uncomfortably bruised after falling down a staircase on Tuesday morning and bouncing down a few wooden stairs — needless to say, sitting is quite painful, but nothing was broken lol. (I then preceded to slam my thumb in the door yesterday evening and thought I was going to pass out, but settled instead on wailing at the top of my lungs, mostly out of frustration, for a good few minutes lol.) But suddenly accident-prone or not, new posts are coming my lovelies, I promise! 😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

Before we begin, I’d like to say that all my prayers, love, and light go out to the people of Paris tonight. No words can express the depth of this sadness. I’m so sorry for all of your losses. ❤

But the challenge this week is Victory my lovelies, and victory for me was the release night of my high school literary magazine Serendipity. My Bestie and I were editors and contributors and this was the night we celebrated all our hard work with a book release and signing at Barnes and Noble in our hometown! It was a very exciting win and I can’t help but be proud of our accomplishment 🙂

Besties!

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This is the look of victory my lovelies! And exhaustion. Victory and exhaustion 😀

The Importance Of Fairy Tales

Fairy tales have always been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember my lovelies, and I still content myself with revisiting childhood characters and wonderfully impossible stories whenever I get the chance. From the traditional Disney films, to old classic shows I watched as a child (Grimm’s Classic Fairy Tales!) to reinterpretations both in movie and book format, I just love the magic and simplistic beauty of a well-told fairy tale. The stories seem so cozy, like a blanket I can cuddle with whenever life gets to be too much.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

They tend to be intimate, in the sense that there aren’t a cavalcade of characters bustling in and out, but a select few that the audience is asked to bond with. And so the story is made that much stronger, when the characters ache, we ache, when they rejoice, we do. This links characters and readers together so strongly that their stories become a part of who we are and how we define ourselves.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Their setting can vary from a beautiful palace, to a secluded forest, or the ocean depths, but always there is a separateness, a sense of loneliness that beckons you in and makes you feel like you are an integral part of the tale itself, as though if you didn’t hear the ending, the characters would remain lost and broken forever. You make the story happen.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

The plots are magical, in ways that force you to put the dreariness of everyday life aside and believe – even if for only a moment — that magic and hope really do exist. But too often these stories are overlooked and considered childish because of their perceived unrealistic qualities. We’re told they hold impossible nonsense and that there are some dreams too big to come true, some stories too much to hope for.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

In the end we’re told these characters aren’t real, they aren’t as frail and human as others, and therefore their lessons are less important. But I don’t think there are stories more apt to show the beauty, truth, and depth of humanity than the tale of a mermaid who dreams about having an immortal soul, or a beauty that can see past disfigurement to acknowledge true love. These are truly the stories to admire. These are the stories that live forever.

*Originally posted on 9/30/2014

Shadowed Love

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Shadowed Love

Amethyst and silver

Glitter around your beautiful neck

– Forbidden and wild –

Soaking in the heat of your heart.

That heart which belongs to me,

Though I can never hold it

For all to see.

I’m left in the shadows

At your side

Watching, as you press my gift

– My heart –

Closer to yours.

*Originally posted as Unsigned Letter: Volume 1 Letter 2 on 1/21/2013

Of Dreams And Nightmares

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Inspiration can come in many forms my lovelies and it varies for each writer and each story they set out to tell. It can be a snippet of a poem, a lyric from a song, or the way a color brightens in the morning light that sets our minds buzzing with insatiable curiosity. For me it’s usually music that strikes a chord, but quite a few of my plotlines have come to me in dreams and nightmares.

Some are beautiful and sad, with brilliant colors and emotions so strong I can still taste them after I wake. But others are so dark and frightening they leave me paralyzed for days after, too afraid to fully comprehend what I’ve seen, but unwilling to forget the story I’ve been told. One dream stands out vividly, and I think always will, with its pain, horror, and unimaginable sadness and unthinkable monsters — the likes of which, I’d never come across before. It pulled me in and refused to let me go, even when I woke up multiple times gasping for breath, I only had seconds before I fell back asleep and the story picked right back up where I left it.

There were people I knew in this dream and some places I recognized (markers for characters and settings for the novel, i.e. my best friend was the characters best friend, my love hers etc.) and it was so real. Every moment felt as though it could be my last. There were brief moments of hope followed by crushing pain and always the need to stay alive…to just stay alive no matter what. It was me, but in so many ways it wasn’t, and when I finally woke I knew exactly whose story it was. The character and her story frightened me, intrigued me…and inspired me. I have many WIP’s and planned future stories that happily take up my time and thoughts, but this one is never far from my mind. I hear it’s pain in music and see it in colors that captivate me, and occasionally when, I’m lucky I dream of it again, though it’s never the same dream.

As much as it scared me, I understand now how incredibly helpful that first dream was, it made me understand…it forced me to see things I didn’t want to see. And now I find myself longing to dream it again, to see it as vividly as I did years ago, as it’s faded a bit with time, and there are certain things I don’t remember as clearly. But that is the way of dreams and of inspiration, it strikes white-hot for only a moment before slowly turning into a slightly blurry, haunting notion that tickles your mind and leaves you scrabbling to catch a wisp of it before it disappears forever.

What inspires you my lovelies? Has it ever been a dream or a nightmare?

*Originally posted on 2/26/2014 in response to a Daily Prompt.

Wishful Dreams

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What dream does your heart wish for tonight my lovelies? What fantastical tale will you live as you rest secure beneath starry skies and bright moonlight? Will there be romance? Or danger? Daring battles or deep friendship? Will a lesson be learned or a truth be known?

You decide. You choose.

Make your wish my lovelies, hold it tight, and dream it into reality.

<3.

Here There Be Witches

Happy Halloween my lovelies, I hope you all have a fun-filled, candy-strewn, and above-all safe holiday! Remember to keep an eye out for the impossible and eerily unexplainable because tonight magic is most definitely real and the Faeries will be a-roaming!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Behind The Scenes

Evening my lovelies, I was tagged for this special Behind the Scenes post by the ever awesome Jamie over at Through Two Blue Eyes and it was just too darn intriguing to pass up!

And if you all haven’t checked out Jamie’s site yet (like I’ve been telling you for years…seriously what are you waiting for!!!) run over there and take a peek, it’s full of heartfelt introspective posts, writing advice, Harry Potter and Sherlock appreciation, awesome lists (LOVE), and so much more!

So here’s a little Behind the Scenes with Moonstonemaiden!!! 😀

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

Umm…not really. It’s a little hard for me to concentrate on typing when I’m trying to eat something. I mean it’s doable, but crumbs in my keyboard are not my favorite thing ever! 😀

When do you normally write? Morning, evening, or afternoon?

This generally depends on the writing mood I’m in. Normally I’m a nighttime writer, typing like crazy from six at night to three in the morning, but there are weeklong periods where I write from early morning until early afternoon. But these are admittedly rare.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Where do you write?

Usually in my living room, curled up on the sofa or an armchair (oh how I miss my red armchair!). I like having people around me when I write, company of sorts since writing is a bit lonely, but I don’t want strangers bustling around and distracting me so coffee shops and the like are out. I like have my family sitting around me, including me even though I’m ignoring them, while they watch T.V. or a movie or something. Thankfully they’ve gotten used to the sound of the clicking keyboard in the background of anything they try to watch!

How often do you start a new novel?

I get new novel ideas whenever they decide to show up, but I try not to actually start writing any of them while I have another novel going because it’s too much for me usually to switch back and forth between stories. I get too caught up in the thrill of the new and forget the awesomeness of whatever I was already doing and it’s just not productive for me personally. Unless I just have to get something specific down, I try to limit myself to just taking very detailed notes about new stories. There have been exceptions of course, I’m writing the Ratha James story while I write Prophecy, but I consider my Ratha James one more for fun than anything else, so it’s like a writing exercise.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Do you listen to music while you write?

YES! I have a playlist for almost every story I have in my head and songs for nearly every character so I make use of those, though sometimes I just want classical pieces that have no words, just emotion, or even just musicals on repeat for noise and so I don’t have to focus on the words. Silence is not fun. But on the other hand, I have had moments where music is too much and goodness knows people love to put on my favorite shows/movies when I’m writing (distracted…me? Not at all…) so there are RARE times when silence is golden. Like holy grail rare.

What do you write on: laptop or paper?

Paper is for poetry for some reason, and quick “I just have to get this down” moments, but all the polished forms of writing and editing are done on the laptop. I can’t read my own handwriting sometimes so typing is just so much easier. And it’s way easier to edit with a delete button. And copy and paste functions.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

I try to avoid rituals because once I latch on to them I have a hard time shaking them and then it becomes a hassle, but for a long time I had to play computer solitaire before I could start writing. Mostly I just listen to music for a bit and sing like I’m performing my own sold-out concert until I’m ready to settle down and start typing.

What do you do to get into the mood to write?

Sing! I listen to music and sing (badly but with feeling lol). Sometimes I daydream, especially in the car. Then it’s a race to my laptop to write down everything I was just thinking about before it all disappears into writer limbo. Sadly some great thoughts and ideas were lost this way…

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What is always near the place you write?

My family is usually around but I’m not writing at a desk or anything so there aren’t any cute, inspiring objects that I keep nearby. I do make backgrounds for my computer though, inspiring pictures and snippets of my story that I find helpful, so I guess maybe that could count!

Do you have a reward system for your word count?

No. I keep an eye on my word count for sure, to judge the day’s progress but unless we’re talking college essay writing here (where I gave myself one episode of Merlin for every paragraph I wrote…highly effective) I’m not one for a reward system.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there anything about your writing process others might not know about?

Well nearly everyone who knows me and has seen me writing knows I’m secretive as hell about my writing and if I even think you’re looking at my screen I will promptly tell you off (sadly I’m often wrong but you know…CONSTANT VILIGENCE!) so that’s not new. Um…let me think. I dream about a lot of my characters sometimes and I feel like whenever I watch a movie/hear a song/do anything really I have to sift through all my character’s reactions to whatever it is until I find my own, which is discombobulating at times I can assure you, but also unexpectedly hilarious. And whenever I get really into whatever I’m writing I tend to start reacting to things the way my characters would and sometimes events in our lives seem to coincide oddly. But that’s all part of living the #writerlife, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Up next for Behind the Scenes, I would like to nominate Megan from Invisible World and Juliette from Vampire Maman!

Distant Travels

Tonight I fancy a meditative stroll under the endless starlit sky in the company of the wise and elegant Elves of Middle Earth — by way of the rolling green Shire of course. With a stop for a proper pint at the Prancing Pony before heading home to be sure. 😀

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Where would you visit if you could my lovelies?

Rediscovering Twilight

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The first time I read Twilight (the vampire hit by Stephenie Meyer) I was seventeen and in my senior year of high school. It had been out long enough that the hardback version of New Moon was released and Twilight was already available in paperback, so I figure I was about a year behind publication wise. But it was New Moon that caught my eye as I perused my local Barnes and Noble (aka Heaven) looking for new reads after my birthday. I immediately stopped and stared at the absolutely gorgeous cover: a feathery white and red flower against a inky black background. Simple, yet effective. And sooo pretty. I just had to take a peek. Just to see if it might be worth my time.

The summery was evocative and exciting (for some reason when it said she cut her finger at a party, I automatically thought she cut it cooking at a party and was like: why on earth are you using sharp utensils at a vampire party?!) and I knew this book was destined to be mine…until I saw that it was a sequel. Sigh, defeated by my own neurosis. I admittedly have a thing my lovelies about reading books in order NO MATTER WHAT. I just can’t handle picking up the third or fourth or even the second book first, I’m just not built that way. And I never read the last page first either. Sacrilege. But anyway…New Moon went back on the shelf and I reluctantly picked up Twilight and gave it a look over. The cover wasn’t as pretty. It was gothic-looking and just odd. So was this really the book for me? I looked back at the other cover, so tragic and romantic. That cover was for me, so if I had to read this book to get to that one then so be it. I promptly bought the book and went along on my merry way none the wiser that I had just purchased one of those life-altering books we all dream about as avid readers.

Skip forward a few days until I actually start reading the book and within a few pages I’m hooked! Screw the pretty flower-covered book, this was my kind of story! Impossible romance, thrilling danger, paranormal themes of a non-scary nature, and a sparkly love interest! Where the hell had this book been all my life?! You know how much I love sparklies my lovelies, it’s a weakness, I can’t help it! Edward was perfection itself and Bella was so adorably relatable, I couldn’t help but love them both. And Charlie. And the Cullen family. I read every spare minute I could find, even going so far as to read during class, which is about as close to teenage rebellion as I ever got. It was like riding a feels roller-coaster. I was on an emotional high for three days, loving every second of it and prepping my mom for reading it next — she very quickly fell in love with the book as well and Edward in particular.

Twilight was a beacon of happiness and possibility for me at a time when I was stressed out with college applications, writing endless scholarship essays, and knowing that every day that passed was one day closer to me leaving my family for college. It gave me something to look forward to and was something my mom and I bonded over book-wise. Twilight was my second Harry Potter experience. It was something I latched onto and wouldn’t let go of for anything. I picked up countless vampire novels afterward, so thrilled to have some new reading area opened up to me, and when I finally did go away to FSU, Twilight started many a conversation in class and instantly bonded complete strangers with their love of Edward and this poignant love story. Life as a Twi-hard was fantastic.

Until the first movie premiered.

As soon as I discovered a movie was in the works — which was early on because the author’s website was a daily stopping point for me — I was uncontrollably excited. I eagerly waited for every new piece of casting information and interview tidbit and very quickly became addicted to IMDb — the king of all movie information websites. Needless to say, when tickets went onsale, I ordered mine online (which was still a new kind of thing at the time) and a group of friends and I arrived at the theater opening night breathless with anticipation. I settled into my seat, the lights dimmed, and I waited for Edward to appear. And sadly, he did appear — to the applause from the entire theater no less — but he so clearly wasn’t Edward. Or at least, not the Edward I knew.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The smooth, velvet-voiced and mercurial-tempered Edward Cullen was now a rude, I-hate-my-life, depressed teenage boy. And Bella was just as bad. Where were her constant smiles and cute awkwardness? Where was his ability to dazzle every woman in a ten-foot radius, and his love of arguing playfully just to get a rise and blush out of Bella? Everything was so sharp, every sentence they spoke to one-another cutting instead of sparring and sweet. And their intimate getting-to-know-you moments (blood testing in Bio anyone) were completely destroyed, rewritten into laughable, hard-to-watch needless drama (I know what you are. Say it…out loud. Vampire.). No…just no. It didn’t work and I left the theater vaguely disappointed but unsure why that was or how it could possibly be. I was supposed to love everything Twilight, so why didn’t I love this? Something was definitely wrong in my Twilight universe.

Things only got worse when the second movie was released. Presented with a down-right depressing and condescending Edward that I just couldn’t stand, I switched teams, becoming a Jacob fan. And let me tell you that caused MOUNTIANS of drama at home when I said as much to my mother. Other friends of mine came home from college with completely new religious beliefs but I came home a Jacob fan and a feminist, what the hell had happened?! My love affair with Twilight was flickering, the movies completely blurred the books for me until I was just too annoyed to reread them because I couldn’t handle getting aggravated by Edward all over again. I couldn’t see my book Edward anymore, only the representation on the T.V. screen. And for more personal reasons, I was discovering I didn’t like controlling men, and Edward definitely had control issues.

By the time the fourth and final book arrived, I was a die-hard Jacob fan and totally enraged at the cop-out that was Renesmee Cullen. I can handle Jacob not getting the girl and all because lets be honest, we all knew he wasn’t going to get the girl, but it was like the author didn’t have the guts to give Jacob an unsatisfactory ending and created this whole new love interest out of frenzied desperation. Think about it, how awkward is it going to be to tell your future love that you had a MASSIVE thing for her mother back in the day, but hey, you know, you’re great too. I’m totally not settling for second best here or anything. Sigh, she was cute in the movie and all, but really just let Jacob go off with Leah and Seth and start a new life slightly disappointed but free to live his own epic love story in the future. But no, you had to shackle him to the kid of his almost-true love and call that acceptable. Nope. Not for me.

Grrr.

So why bring all this up with you now my lovelies? Legitimate question. Well after years of not reading the books and only watching the movies when I had to, I got the random urge to try the books again. Perhaps it was because of all the tenth anniversary hoopla I saw online, but I decided to at least give them another try, just to see if anything was salvageable from my former Twilight ardor. I started reading this past week, forcing myself to put aside all my anger and annoyance which flared to life every now and then when a book scene and the movie scene merged together in my head. Thankfully, this happened only a handful of times.

So what did I find? Was the book everything it was originally? Well yes and no. Yes, in the fact that it was a sweet, teenaged love story and that Edward was once again the boy I vaguely remembered at this point. And although I still had to remind myself to not instantly dislike him, I could see the vampire I fell in fictional-love with again. And Bella was so much happier than she ever is in the movie versions. It was nice, like a cute little memory newly rediscovered. But it also wasn’t the epic drama I thought it was at seventeen. I could now see the somewhat laughable nature of it when they basically fall in insta-love and some of the more creepier aspects of their relationship. But that’s more me growing into an adult than any fault of the book I think. And yes, the writing was not the brilliant prose I remembered, but it wasn’t horrible either. There were definitely way too many descriptions of Edward’s beauty and his likeness to an angel, but you know, in the end, it’s a book for TEENAGERS, it doesn’t have to be perfect, especially for an adult reader. I can appreciate it for what it gave me all those years ago and for the cute story it is to me now. And actually there were some segments of writing that are downright lovely. And I didn’t completely hate Edward! So I count that as a win.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

All that being said, I’m starting New Moon now, so we’ll see how long my new-found Edward acceptance really lasts. I was actually thankful that Jacob wasn’t a major presence in the first book, it gave me time to remember Edward and why I liked him, but we all know New Moon is Jacob’s book, so we’ll see how it goes. 😉 In the end I’m really happy that I gave this book another try, it opened back up a world that I once loved. And even though I can’t fully fall back into that ever-green Forks-centered world, it’s nice to visit again and see some long-lost friends and places. And as tempted as I am to re-watch the movies now to see if I have the same success, I’m going to wait until I finish reading the books, just in case movie-Edward pisses me off again. Though I really love all the movies except the first one, the rest are wonderful for the most part, but I just don’t want to risk movie-Edward ruining all my progress here!

What about you my lovelies, have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite book/character/or series? Did you ever try to revisit them again? What books have changed your life? Be sure to let me know and happy reading my lovelies!