Sunday, 26 April 2015

it's the middle of the night (and I made a playlist)

So, it's the middle of the night.
It feels like every smile aches.
But I can't make myself cry.
I don't want to feel like this.
(I thought I was done feeling like this.)
But now, I don't know what to do anymore when no one can listen.
And I don't know who will read this.
But I don't want to have to believe the world stays the way it is.
Aren't we meant to think we can change it?
(Aren't I meant to be able to change it?)
It's 3am and I can't sleep and because I've really been hanging onto the little things from that last post, I made a playlist for the last week. Hope you guys like it, even if right now, my mind is fighting and screaming with all the thoughts I thought were gone.
AM/FM Sound by Matt and Kim
Hanging On-Active Child
Settle Down-The 1975
How They Want Me To Be-Best Coast
Cherry Wine-Hozier
The Sound of Silence-Simon and Garfunkel
No One Like You-Best Coast
How We Do (Party)-Rita Ora
Talk!-The 1975
Bleeding Out-Imagine Dragons

Thursday, 23 April 2015

It's The Little Things

Sometimes, when I'm feeling really low, I find it easier to focus on everything I've done right. When my chest gets tighter than ever or every single mistake I've ever made seems to be screaming behind my eyes, I try listing all the things I've done right.

Some of them are things that everyone might say counts: Got a piece of writing published. Learnt a new song on the piano. Others are littler things that still count in some way: Learnt to do eyeliner properly. Found a new band I like. Dangled my legs out the door into the sunlight. Laughed with my cousin so hard it hurt. All of us huddled in front of the TV screen, with the lights off and the blue light casting our faces into a strange glow.

They might seem like little things to some people. This might seem a little piece of writing. But sometimes, it's the little things that can keep you holding on.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Cool Characters: Diondra Wertzner

The posters on the bedroom wall would be scared of her.
To say that Diondra is one of the most messed up people in fiction is probably an understatement. She'd either kill you or just start laughing.
I'm a sucker for Gillian Flynn's books-ironically, the only one I haven't read yet is Gone Girl. But Sharp Objects was one of my favourite books last year and now Dark Places might be one of my favourites this year.
Diondra isn't even the main character of Dark Places-that's Libby, who put her brother behind bars as a kid for the massacre of the rest of her family and now as an adult, is slowly persuaded into doubting his guilt. Diondra is Libby's brother Ben's girlfriend at the time of the murders, who we mainly see in flashbacks throughout the course of the story.
This is one of those times when Cool Character means "interesting, terrifyingly well-written character, who'll keep you up biting your nails." Diondra is not a good person, to be fair. She's from a family that are happy to leave her alone for months at a time, that don't care what she gets up to with drugs, nights out, alcohol-they've just got one rule and that's that if she has sex before marriage, her dad will shoot her.
Yes, literally shoot her.
Understandably, being raised with the idea that Sex=Shotgun isn't exactly conducive to someone developing into a well-rounded human being. And being a well-rounded human being slips even further down the priority list when Diondra ends up pregnant at seventeen with Ben's baby.
Now, here's where the real character development comes in here. Diondra is a gothic, dramatic teenage girl who's willing to do terrible things, and is even willing to treat Ben, the guy who's in love with her, terribly at times. One minute she's happy to love him, tell him she wants to spend her life with him, even look after him (he's two years younger than her.) And then she turns around and mocks him to their older friend Trey, treats him like a child, belittles him relentlessly.
So you'd think Diondra would be the kind of girl to not, in any way, want a child.
But Diondra wants the baby immediately. And in many ways, it could be argued that her love for the baby is, in some twisted way, a kind of redemption for her. (Emphasis on the "twisted" part. For why, just read on.) And she's willing to go to any lengths to protect her unborn child, willing to care for the baby, give the baby a good life, and goes half berserk when Ben makes even the mildest reference to any other option.
It's strange that someone capable of such strong, desperate love for her baby is at the same time capable of so many other things. This goes from fairly mild teenage delinquent stuff to more could-be-spending-serious-time stuff. Stuff like (spoilers if you're planning to read the book, and want to be completely unspoiled. The real serious spoilers are below.)
Being willing to steal from her boyfriend's almost-destitute family
Being willing to hypothetically forgive her boyfriend for molesting a child
Brutally killing a cow
Brutally killing a cow for freaking devil worship
Even this girl would be flinching.

To say that Diondra has problems would be a huge understatement. But underneath all the violence, all the anger, and all the hatred, there is a strange, thorny, desperate love for her baby. And ultimately, it could almost be argued that this love is the thing that motivates her worst act in the story and the culmination of all of the anger that's been brimming beneath the surface of the whole story.
Diondra MURDERS BEN'S TEN-YEAR-OLD SISTER. (She'd overheard her talking about the pregnancy. She is then perfectly willing to murder his seven-year-old sister, and brainwashes her own daughter into helping her kill Libby as an adult as well.
Diondra's motivations are bizarre. It's so complicated. Is it love for her baby that motivates these actions? Does she love her child at all, from the way she goes on to control her? Does she genuinely believe she's acting in her child's best interests? Does she care about Ben at all? Is she this way simply because of the way her parents have treated her? How can we feel sorry for her? 
My feelings towards Diondra were so complicated. I couldn't entirely see her as a pure villain. Instead, she became a complicated, troubled girl. The conflicted way her own parents treat her-as someone whose activities they usually barely trouble themselves with, but as someone who could be murdered if she fails to meet their standards on one matter-this is reflected in the way Diondra treats both Ben and her own child. One moment loving Ben, the next seeing him as disposable, as weak, unnecessary. With her child, she seems to feel an all-encompassing love-but then is willing to force her into terrible things, to skew her whole perspective on the world. Does she genuinely think this is what's best for her daughter? Or is she just clinging still to the fear she herself experienced as a child?
I love stories that allow for subjective characters. And so Diondra is the type of character that I find the most interesting-someone who's doing terrible things but even if they're not justified, they almost, in a kind of twisted way, make sense. I remember the director James Gray making a reference to the last scene in one of his films, where he mentioned that that scene, for a character that could be perceived as merely villainous, had to make sense of that character's actions-not explain those actions, not excuse those actions and not justify those actions. Just make sense of those actions.
 That's the type of character that Diondra reminds me of. We might not be able to explain, justify, or excuse her actions. But in some twisted way, the story might be able to make sense of them.
(And I'll have to make a playlist for her at some stage, because God, she is the kind of character who calls for a playlist.)


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Milestones, Surprises and Birthday Outfits

So, it's been ages since I did an outfit post but this was my birthday outfit. It's the same dress I wore at Christmas because that dress happens to be something I would rescue from a burning building. Dress is from H & M, fishnet tights are from somewhere on Amazon, along with black lace netting gloves, choker from Dunns Jwerellery, and gothic silver heart belt is from Amazon. Also, the black thing on my cheek is a star, drawn in eyeliner, because I like drawing stars on my face. (Though my mother did that one simply for speed.)
I'm not too sure how I feel about being an adult. I think it feels-not as big a deal as I would have imagined. Maybe life is like that. Maybe it's the things we imagine as huge moments and milestones that are easier to handle because of all the expectation we place on them, all the anticipation that builds up. Maybe it's the smaller things we've never thought about at all that really take us by surprise.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Carousel of Time

I keep all my old diaries around. They're old writing I don't mind looking back over. It's weird to read how things have changed, the way things I thought would last forever didn't even last long enough to remember them. To read little snatches of words I scribbled down, knowing one day they'd mean something to me.
I just turned 18. On my seventeenth birthday, I started a diary that I've kept every day for a year. Now, I looked back at the day before that, a year ago, the day I finished my old diary. And I expected to find myself stupid and young and a kid who knew nothing of life. But I didn't.
Sure, I was a lot younger than now. Even in only a year, I've changed a lot. And I've done the things I wanted to do back then. That's a lot, really, in a year. And something in that kid, who even then, was so confident in her thoughts and feelings, and so determined to be true to them, even if they turned out wrong or others thought they were stupid, I'm still proud of and still hang onto. Growing up doesn't mean giving up on your dreams. It just means finding different ways to achieve them.
I used to dread things changing. But now, looking back through all my old diaries, at all the things I thought I could never get through, that I did, it made me smile, even when I don't know how everything might end. Because I didn't know how everything would end then, either, but I wouldn't have thought I'd be as happy as I am right now.
The night before I turned eighteen, I listened to the song my dad used to sing to me over and over as a little girl, and that I've listened to over and over the last few days. "The Circle Game" by Joni Mitchell, was one of the soundtracks that played in the back of my head all the time as I grew.
There'll be new dreams
Maybe better dreams, and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through
And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game
And go round and round and round in the circle game
Things are changing but these days, that doesn't make me sad. I can hold on to the past and look towards the future and remember the way things used to be. And think of the way they will be.