Monday, 30 January 2012

About - Magic



You know when you finish reading a book, and you begin to compare things you admire in those stories before you begin to think concernedly about your own work? That's where I am now. And you know when some books you read are so good that they inspire you to write - while others you read are so good that you dejectedly think you can never be that good? After reading Rivers Of London and Moon Over Soho, I'm slowly drifting from the happy former to the angry latter.

When I thought about Ben Aaranovitch's books, I realised that a great deal of knowledge had been demostrated in them in various areas; jazz culture, the geography and history of London and Soho, and the policing system. Thinking about my own endless creations, I embarrassedly and guiltily admitted to myself that in almost all of them, whenever I didn't know something I simply made shit up instead of doing the relevant/necessary research. I understand that this is not the behaviour of a writer who wants their creation to be thorough but, in my defence, I'm quite lazy.

I always had in my head that I'd get the answers eventually, when I'm a bit older, maybe do a bit of travelling to find the answers to gaping holes in my stories, or just sit at the computer and do hardcore research. I said that when I was about fourteen; I'm nineteen now, and I've barely gotten anywhere. I don't want to turn around my find out that I'm twenty-nine with my notebooks gathering dust.

I suppose that's also why I love fantasy and science fiction so much - the endless possibilities, the mysticism, and the simple fact that almost anything can be decently explained if you're smart enough. Kinda like my close writer friend Annie, who could dynamically talk anything into making perfect sense. If any of my books get published and become audiobooks, she's hired to do the voiceover.

As always when I read a fantasy book, reading Rivers Of London and Moon Over Soho has refocussed my love for for the supernatural in books. Thinking about Ben Aaranovitch's use of magic, how the forma seals the idea and the scincere fixes it in place - or something. (might have to read it again.) It reminded me of how bleak my own magical experimentations are. In recents years I've drifted away from fantasy and written a lot of very easy, non-challenging and non-overly-thought-provoking teen fiction, including complicated romances and ridiculous gang fights. Now, just like when I read Magician by Raymond E Feist, and watched my sister play Second Sight on my brothers old xbox all the way to the end, and listened to my close writer friend Annie tell me about this freaking crazy story about four witches inspired by the song Crush On You by Nero, I'm desperate to get back to that place when I was so full of ideas that I had to always always have a pen, for fear of forgetting any little thing that popped into my head.

That said, lets brainstorm. Ideas?

 
 

Mental Exploration: Magic

For the record, none of the titles of these stories are permanent and are subject to change. But for now, I'm just calling them by whatever first gave me the idea.

Contractarianism.

The general idea was to explore the notion of having magic only connected to certain body parts, as an permanent but limited bodily enhancement, and not so much a Use Anywhere On Anything type thing. If that makes sense. Thus, magic linked to the eyes might allow the magician to see further through space, or to see forward or backwards in time. Magic linked to the ear might heighten the magician hearing, or allow them to understand animals, or allow them to understand various languages. Magic linked to the hands might allow what I'm currently calling Touch Magic; potions, herbal charms and jinxes, maybe. These were the powers I gave to the main characters in this story, but what I can't explain is where it all comes from.

I quite liked the idea of Gods and Goddess being a energy source by being an higher entity that never dies, and therefore always emitting some sort of heat, brainwaves, electrosomethingwave, some scientifical shit like that that can eventually be explained to make sense. Unfortuantely, I got a B in Science GCSE so Annie will have to do it - she's taking Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Maths at A Level. Yeah. I bet you're saying what I said: Holy fuckin' shat.


Bleach

But for obvious reasons, I absolutely cannot call it that! Actually, lets call it;

Detonator/RIP

Even though the intital concept has changed so much, I don't think that even relates to the story. Its more Sci Fi, actually. It's sees a msyterious substance being discovered on Earth and evolving human beings and incredible rates. The main character, towards the rear end of the story (none of it is written down yet, I'm too lazy and blue) had the substance accidentally squirted into her right eye. There is a moment a terrible agony as it acts as an acid and ruins her eye, and then micro-organisms grow at rapid rates to replace it with an organ that, although looking similar to an eye, has about ten thousand more functions including sight in the dark, infrared, being able to dilate and contract the pupil by choice (a zoom in and out function, basically), and much more, but I shan't list them here until I run them by Annie and make sure it is scientifically possible, even by vague standards. Also, I don't want people teefing my ideas. Heh.

The problem here is that aside from the whole evolution thing, I can't get more specific about the substance itself. Is it solid or liquid? What colour is it? Does it have an odour? In what way(s) is it harmful? And so on and so forth. At the moment, all I got is that "it's like bleach". But we already have an existing substance "like bleach", and its bleach. And it will make you blind, if you squirt it in your fuckin eye, like I almost did to myself a year or two ago, which was how I got this whole idea in the first place.


The Quest To Get Paid

This one, I adore. The magic here is simply drawn from the earth itself and the rule is simple - whatever you take, you give back. Every spell has a price. You take magic essence from a bush to use, you must nurse that bush make to luscious green health or risk your magic turning into a kind of black magic, "polluted magic" I liked to call it.


The main character is a warrioress and thus one of my favourites; she is of earth magic, and her enemies are of air. The problem here is that her task is to locate possessions of an ancient council, of which there were about twelve, including half-gloves of fire and ice, heavy metal boots that control pressure in the earth, a terrifying helmet that gives of an dark glamour and increases the speed, strength and stamina of the wearer, and the Black Sword that drinks the blood of its victims and allows it to act of its own accord. After that, I'm completely out of ideas. I wanted a pair of earrings but it seems to mundane - a whip or lasso was too Wonder Woman. Every item I thought of made me think of something I'd already read in another book or else didn't fit appropriately with a magical ability, and I couldn't move forward. A horn (Game Of Thrones), A belt (? Really? A BELT? What magical powers could a damn belt have, make you not need to wee?), One of those strappy things that go around your chest and you can put a quiver or sword back there (Again - question mark?), and bow and arrow. (Robin Hoooood!)

This is been on the back-burner for quite some time, because it just requires to much thought, and my brain hurts when I think too much. I blame Specsavers for making my glasses too strong.

Neptune

As I said in my very very first blog post, this one is about vampires. Which fucking sucks, because I thought of the whole 'vampires with magic' thing first. Damn. I kind of don't want to touch this idea now, not until Twilight goes stale in about twenty years. Which, at this rate, is how long it will take me to write the damn thing. Damn. I need to stop starting sentences with 'which'. I bet I do that in my fiction as well; not a good writers trademark, by my standards.

So, to the point. In this idea, I thought of vampire being in clans, and each clan has a sort of 'speciality'. One clan are warriors with increased strength and speed, another clan are psychic outcasts, another clan have elemental abilities, my most unique clan are nocturnal and banshee-like; they use shrieking sound waves to communicate and get around; and the 'evil' clan feeds on all entities, including other vampires, kind of like vampire cannabalism but I haven't certified that yet. One character, who I'd like to call a Seeper until I find a better word, can travel large distances by travelling wherever there is a shadow or silhouette, which is a lot more interesting that it sounds, but I'm too lazy to doll it up right now. Another idea I had was for the traditional Bram Stoker 'Can't Go In Sunlight, Pale, Anti-Sparkle, Sleep In Coffin' type vampire, ie. Dracula, is another species of vampire completely, an ancient type. In which case, there would be 'old' and 'new' vampires, each with different traits. That's given me an idea, actually. I'd better write that down.


Ricochet

Ricochet follows the story of a teenage girl who, on realising she has magical abilities, sets out to find other 'witches', as she likes to call them; she doesn't know what she is, and her family show no magical talent. In the story, it occurred to me that magicians/ mages/ witches/ wizards are always trying to greater expand their abilities and powers, but what if it was simply the nature of magic to draw collectively together? My main character (lets call her Thistle) 
is drawn to three other girls with the ability to use magic during her high school years, but doesn't yet know that this is because it is a predictable habit of magic to grow and expand until it is released, and pulls magic practitioners together to become a stronger and more defined power.

However when Thistle finds these girls, she gets none of the answers she is looking before because they are just as lost as she is, and none of them are able to use magic in the same way; Thistle must draw runes in the air; another witch must use vocal incantations; another must use her hands; and another must fall into a meditative trance to access her powers, which she can't access while 100% conscious. I focussed on Thistle. But I immediately hit a brick wall when I realised that i don't know a damn thing about runes, and despite my research the runes I found would hardly be useful for a magical spell.

This is the rune for 'ride', or 'journey' :

This is the rune for 'need' :

This is the rune for 'giant':

And this one the rune for 'hail'.

Now; unless my character needs a ride to hail a giant, I don't see how any of this helps me. Which means this idea needs so much more thought put into it. If only I wasn't such a lazy girl.


I have over a hundred story ideas written down and over twenty have successfully made it to the development stage. But zero are even close to being fully explored to its full potential so I can sit down and write the shit. The moment I get stuck, I move to another story, and I keep doing this... so none of them are expanding. It's frustrating, because in a lot of cases, I know the plot and how its going to end. It's just filling it all out that's the greater task here. My characters and my plotlines are fairly solid in some, in others it'll be the characters and the setting. But in all, the realism struggles to take off. It's not that I can't do it... its just that I'm bloody lazy.



Miss Star. xx

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Rivers Of London/Moon Over Soho

... written by Ben Aaronovitch. The moment I began reading, I connected with this book in a way I couldn't explain. It wasn't just like 'Oh yeah, picked up this book, fell into a mystical freaking place, 'unputdownable' (I hate reading that damn word on the back of a book, it's not even a proper adjective), the next J.K. Rowling/Stephen King/Terry Pratchett, couldn't put it down.'

No. I was already a good way into the book (Moon Over Soho) before I realised three things that made me go out the next day and buy Rivers Of London and its sequel.


One. The main character is a mixed-race policeman, with a black mother and a white father who plays Jazz - ??!! Like what the HELL! Amaziiiiiiinggggg

It's like, because of this, he addresses some minor race issues that many people (probably including myself) have faced. One part that stands out for me: in The second book Moon Over Soho, The main character Peter, the first new magical apprentice in about a century, meets somebody who is the curator of a magical library. Aaranovitch writes;
Harold Postmartin ... had clearly been expecting Nightingale to introduce someone
'different' as the new apprentice. I could see him trying to parse the phrase
but he's coloured in a way that wouldn't cause offence, and failing. I put him out of
his misery by shaking his hand; my rule of thumb is that if they don't physically flinch
from touching you, then eventually they'll make the adjustment.
© Ben Aaronovitch 2011, 'Moon Over Soho', Publ. by Gollancz

I, fucking, love, that bit.

Two. The story is set in London - my hometown! Yaaaay! A book about magic set in London by such a talented writer, a rarity. It was a strange but thrilling feeling to read vivid descriptions of places I've been, such as Covent Garden, Neal Street, etc etc. Reading it is kind of nostalgic, only it isn't because I live here, heh. :')

And of course, the magic.

Even though at some times, things done or said raised some curious questions, on the whole it was a very realistic take on magic. Every bit of magic used has a price; there seemed to be more of a cap on magic, more limitations - instead of just endless usage, like Harry Potter. (No offence though, I really like Harry Potter.)

Three. Like I said, his mother is black. There was an incredible passage in one of the books about 'Don't Touch A Black Woman's Hair, Don't Talk About A Black Woman's Hair' in there that made me laugh to no end at its accuracy. Not gonna copy it out in case I get my blog shut down for plagiarism, but honestly, I was rolling with laughter. There's no end in humour in those books - exactly the type of humour that I like, sometimes dry, sometimes sardonic, but all very very casual. It's not always obvious that a joke is a joke, but that just means its all the more funnier if you get it.


I went out and bought the book ASAP even though I'm supposed to be 'strapped for cash.' I don't give a damn. It's an absolutely amazing book that draws on so many features I know and understand. I looked up the genre and saw that it fell into the 'urban fantasy' category - I thought WOAH. I definitely want to write some shit like that, in some way shape or form. :D I will have both eyes wide open and keenly watching Ben Aaronovitch's next book release.



Peace and Love,
Star xx
________________________________________

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Bittersweet Symphony

No change, I can't change, I can't change... I can't change
But I'm here in my mould, I am here in my mould
And I'm a million different people from one day to the next
I can't change... my mould, no no, no... no... no...


Just as one of the comments on Youtube said:
"Not a SINGLE fuck was given that day."

Indeed.
Star xx
________________________________________

Monday, 16 January 2012

Star (noun)



Star
noun 1. any of the celestial bodies visible at night , relatively stationary ,
twinkling points of light .

adjective 2. outstanding in performing something , relating to a star or stars .

noun 3. not the prettiest , but damn well the wittiest motherf*****r up in here,
accomplished Imaginer, unaccomplished Writer, Qualified anguished Teen, Head
of the Kiss Kiss Bandits, Capt. of the Plush Toy Army, unamused Rapper, Designer
and Artiste, Musician, Singer, Actor. Survivor.


Peace. Love.
Star xx

________________________________________

Saturday, 14 January 2012

An Afterthought About Christmas


It's mildly shocking the amount of effort and excitement is injected into us by The System for Christmas, simply because its the time of year when we are guaranteed to spend ridiculous amounts of money, even though it's ONE DAY out of a whole year. It really struck me when an lady who works at my workplace said, "It's over so quickly, isn't it?" And I thought... actually, she's right. The amount of build-up there is for one day is fucking stupid. I'm hearing Christmas songs from the end of October. But hey, its also the happiest time of year for many people, so I can't complain. Anyway, I'm starting to realise how futile it is to pick bones about the society I live in - nothing can be done, other than to trod on and keep commenting on what a dumb population I'm a part of.



Peace, Love.
Star xx

________________________________________

Two-Thousand And Sexy

It's quarter past midnight. I should've gone to bed ages ago, with all the things I need to do tomorrow - today, even - but I found this blog called FMS/ Fashion, Music, Sport, and I've been practically glued to it, reading posts for ages. Now it's finally time for sleep, I can't rest until I posted some fiction. I would really, really like to post some fiction right now. >=( But the things I wish to post (Initiation: Behind Closed Doors and Model Mannequin), I still don't feel like they're ready, even as drafts. So I'm posting some shit I wrote a long time ago, when I thought bad-ass black girls were mildly amusing and had a slight fascination with NY. I don't think I can bear to read this again... ever. But you may, if you care enough. I titled it, Two-Thousand And Sexy.

Star xx
What Kemisha Ckemi may have looked like. Photo credit goes to my favourite photographer ever, NEEF Fresh.
[ Intro .
-- In My Hood

written in October 2009


So first, you bitches can stop your shit talkin’ about New Jersey.

Because New Jersey is the fucking Hood. Ain’t no more fuckin’
hookers and vagrants on streets corners than there is in your hood.
By the way? Not all of us say Joisey. Yes we do say tawk and dawg

and gawgus and cawfee… and yes the accent be annoyin’ – but it’s
better than yours. If you imitate our accent, I will take an NBC stick
to your head. We might have bad grammar – but our education is on
point. HOW many A’s did I come out with last year? Exactly. Hush.

And yes we can drive – but you can’t, so fuck up, hoe.

Luckily for you, not all Jersey folks are as conceited as me. I’m just very
 
outspoken. I grew up thinkin’ Central Park was “nature” and the bagels
I knew were more like rolls with a fuckin hole in the middle but DAMN
those ‘rolls’ were good. And warm. When I say I’ll be a hot minute, it
means a looong time – so if you’re from my hood you know to sit the fuck
down and grab you a magazine. I know about a dozen strippers and even
more girls who should be one. And who the mutha told you we don’t pump
our own gas? We don’t think we’re Queens. Haha, see what I did there…?
But seriously.

My one letdown – my bf TeeTee once dissed; “I might say strange
words but at least I don’t say YAAA’LL!” I'd smirked at the time.
Buurn. But when I took my shit to New York, what did I start saying?
Sigh.

Moving up and down the whole damn country made me lose quite
a lot of my awful accent. But to be real, I still love Jersey, I still call
myself a Nork New Jersey girl because I was born in Brick City and
that’s that. People can never guess where I’m from.

That’s like Star too. She’s from London but she picks up slang like a
baby, so the accent and the words of many places merged together
gives her the most unique – dialect – ever. With my Afro-American,
Korean American heritage, and her Jamaican background, people
get shocks when us bitches start talking. Heh. Heh.

I like the ambiguity. Keeps all them jerkwads on they toes when they
can’t tell up from down.

So let me tell it to you straight. I am… the one. An elitist female in a
battle field where only a few chickens even come close to my league.
Don’t cry about it… it is what it is, hun. My name is Kemisha CKemi
and do not forget it. Don’t mean to be stank, but I’m a good-lookin’,
shit-poppin’ chick – singing’s really not my shit but my flow is fire,
believe it. And when I’m finished fuckin with Two-Thousand and Six
and become a rapper, this year finna be the year of Sexy, with my
effing badass name written all over it.

Keep talking your shit.
Me and crew eat haters for breakfast.

________________________________________

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Eagle

"The Eagle is now your guardian."


Underneath my skin, there's an eagle.
Underneath these clouds, there's an ego.
(^ And yes, that is the right way around.)




Peace and Love,
Star xx
________________________________________

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Meaning Of Life


On Saturday, I got one of 'those leaflets' from a Jehovah's Witness, and took it with good grace (because that's what I always do in case God's giving me a sign) despite the fact that I doubt that it would have anything relevant to me. However the theme for the July 2011 edition (the one I got - some old-ass issue) was,


'What is the meaning of life?'

Seeing as that's what had been on my mind at my lowest points of the last few months, my next thought was promptly; 'Fuck.'

Because I know that when a J
ehovah's Witness leaflet is telling me about my life, and I'm not a Jehovah's Witness, that there's a problem somewhere in the grand scale of my life...

... that it's basically a fucking mess and needs to be straightened out at once.

"Does life have any meaning?" Countless people have asked that question. Sadly, no matter how they look at their life, many are unable to escape what Austrian neurologist described as a "sense of meaninglessness and emptiness" in their lives.

To which I thought, 'Oh, great.' Kept reading.

To many, it simply does not make sense that humans, who are gifted with such great potential, live such short lives. They cannot understand the harsh reality that we all face: Sooner or later, even if we escape the worst that besets mankind, death robs us of everything.  -Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20

After this, I stopped reading. There was no point if it was just going to make me feel worse about the futility of my actions to suceed. 'I just want to be a writer,' I thought, feeling like shit. 'And possibly a dancer. I just want to be successful and for my life to be worth a damn.' If that's too much to ask, then let me repeat the last line of the prayer I say every night before sleeping - 'I pray thee Lord my soul to take, Amen.'

What's slightly worse is that on Sunday, I wasn't feeling too good at all. The tooth in front of the one I got filled (remember that?) was killing me at various points, so I had to make a dentists appointment today :( Also, I'm kinda unfamiliar with headaches (I never get them) so I wasn't sure if what I was feeling on Sunday was a headache or eye-ache, which I do actually get from my bloody HD glasses from Specsavers. Kinda pissed as that, because when I last went from my eye test, I TOLD them I didn't want it too strong from my last one. I bet they're trying to make me bloody blind so that I have to keep going back there to get glasses because I'm blind. Evil.

It was even more infuriating that no matter how much I tried to write, I felt too shitty to do it. I couldn't get anything done that day. So the motto 'What is the meaning of life' kept reinforcing itself in my head and I just thought - GAHHHH !!!!

If it wasn't for my mama, who keeps me motivated and strong, God knows what would've happened to me. I might just have ended up as one of those tragic, tragic people who commit suicide and everybody thinks, 'What a tragedy, they had so much ahead of them.' Well OBVIOUSLY, they didn't think so - or else they wouldn't have done it. And I know in my heart that I would never ever willingly commit suicide; it's much more likely that in my depression, I'll do something stupid like forget to look both ways when I'm crossing the road. Did that once. One my way from teacher-student day with Mr Duffy, where I basically went into school for ten minutes to talk about how well I was doing. On my way back, walked into the road and had to run when a lorry beeped me. Damn, that was scary. My life didn't flash before my eyes, only the lorry. I'll have to touch wood now because all this talk about death is freaking me out.

ANYWAAAAAAY, on a MUCH brighter note, I got LOADS and LOADS written today. So very happy and proud of myself. Will be posting a series of those chapters this week. Big fat yay, for the alter-ego writer. And at the moment, Dawnstar is presiding - finding that happy place where I'm making good and continuous jokes, smiling, taking control of my life, laughing. Darkstar can fuck off with my stress, don't need ANY of that right now. Thank YOUP.

The excerpts in this blog are from:
The Watchtower, July 1, 2011.


Peace, Love and Light (preferrably starlight)
Star xx
________________________________________

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Quotes (cont.)

... we made it. And the world hasn't even ended yet. =]


Now. Seeing as I'm not the sort of person to make New Years Resolutions, pretty much ever, lets get down to business. S.K. xx















Serious Quotes .

“The closing years of life are like a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped”
-Arthur Schopenhauer 

Three can keep a secret, if two are dead. 
-Benjamin Franklin

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” 
-Marilyn vos Savant

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. 
Only through our love and friendship can we create
the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” 
-Orson Welles

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,a smile,
a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the
smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn
a life around.”
-Leo F. Buscaglia

“Dreams pe
rmit each and every one of us to be quietly and safely
insane every night of our lives.” 
-William Dement
MOTTOS FOR 2012
Time is free, but it's priceless. 
You can't own it, but you can use it. 
You can't keep it, but you can spend it. 
Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” 

-Harvey MacKay



“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your
mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except
in the mind.”

-Dale Carnegie



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