Saturday, September 29, 2012

Story: Chalk

So, as promised I am going to post some of my creative work here. This particular piece was something I wrote last year for one of my creative writing classes. We were given the broad topic of a story between two siblings that had not seen each other for a long time, but we could not say blatantly why but imply the reasons (similar to the way Ernest Hemingway implies the main problem in "Hills Like White Elephants").



Charlie stared across the park, letting the piece of white chalk roll between his hands. He glanced down at his watch. Half past three. He should be here by now, Charlie thought. Slouching down on the bench, he placed the chalk in the pocket of his worn jacket and rubbed his hands on his jeans. Near the twisted oak tree, a small boy with blonde hair was playing with his toy aeroplane. It swooped up in the air as the boy added sounds of zoom! and swoosh! It was funny; it didn’t seem so long ago that he and his brother had been playing in the street with toy planes and cars, or drawing pictures in colourful chalk. Charlie was eighteen now, graduating high school in two weeks. He wished his brother could make it.

“Hey.” Charlie twisted his head around so fast that his neck seized up with sharp stabbing. Massaging the muscle, he winced a smile to the gangly teen sitting next to him. Dennis had always liked to sneak up behind him ever since they were young.

“You’re late,” Charlie said to his brother. “Don’t know why I expected anything different.” A woman got out of her silver sedan parked on the far side of the street, carrying a brown bag of groceries. A large delivery truck drove by and Charlie blinked. The car had been silver, right? Now it was a navy blue minivan, the kind his mother had driven when he was young.

Shaking his head, Charlie turned his attention back to his brother. “So, why’d you want to see me?”

“I was gonna ask you the same thing.” Dennis’ voice was squeaky, a bit too high pitched for a boy of sixteen. Then again, he had always seemed too young for his age, at least to Charlie.

Charlie shrugged, rolling the chalk in his hands again. “Why aren’t you coming to my graduation? I thought—“

“You know why. I can’t. Don’t try to tell me you’ve forgotten. I mean, ten years is a long time, but still…” Dennis never blinked, not when the wind blew in his face, not when the bright sun peaked out from behind the clouds. He looked too pale, not just the whiteness that comes from not enough sunlight. This was a different pallor. Like he was covered in flour. “Mum and Dad haven’t forgotten. And they weren’t even there.”

Trying to comprehend the meaning of his brother’s words, Charlie said, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

Dennis looked away from him, towards the park. Charlie followed his gaze and saw the little boy again. Six years old with blonde hair and a large smile. His toy plane was nowhere to be seen, instead he carried a bucket of coloured chalk. Blue, purple, orange. He skipped out from under the trees, kneeling down on the side walk. A bike rider came whizzing down towards him, veering away just in time. The boy took no notice.

Charlie heard his brother speak softly next to him. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the same thing that kept me from entering high school, even middle school. The same thing that kept me from you, Mum, and Dad. Made it so that you were alone and blamed yourself.” His voice was higher now, childish. Goosebumps arose on Charlie’s arms and he knew he had to face Dennis, even though he didn’t want to. But he had to.

Slowly, his neck turned his head towards his brother. The little six-year-old boy with blonde hair, swinging his legs off the edge of the bench. “It wasn’t your fault, you know,” Dennis said. Charlie hardly heard the words, shocked so much by this unreal vision. But then again, how could he not have guessed? It was so simple, so obvious. Ten years. How could he have forgotten?

“It was.” His throat and mouth felt dry and scratchy. He ran a parched tongue over his lips. “I should have done something. I was the older brother and I saw that stupid truck coming. I should have—“

Something rushed past him, catching his eye. He whipped his head around, his neck screaming again in pain. But he didn’t care. It was the boy, the little boy carrying the chalk. He was running towards the street, busy with traffic.

Not again! Charlie’s mind wailed, but what could he do? He stood up, fists clenching. He wanted to do something, anything. That boy was going to get hit—

The woman he had seen carrying the groceries ran to the boy, throwing an arm around him, stopping him. She knelt down and scolded him. The boy nodded reluctantly, then gave his mother a hug. They disappeared inside the silver sedan.

“There was nothing you could do, then or now.” Charlie didn’t turn to look at his brother and wished he could tune out his voice. It was too painful. The chalk pictures in the street. Blue, purple, orange. And red, bright red.

“I’m sor—“ Charlie turned. The bench was empty. He stood there, staring at it for a few minutes, then placed a shaky hand on the wood. The spot was warm. No, it’s cold. Dead cold.

Putting his hand back in his jacket pocket, Charlie turned to leave. Then he paused. He pulled out the piece of white chalk he had been fiddling with all day. One piece. He had had it forever, it seemed. For many years now.

He placed the chalk gently on the bench. After tens years, it was finally time to let go and move on.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Outfit Post: Sweaters in the Summer

Even though it's September, it's still somehow incredibly hot. I am looking forward to autumn so much, I even have my computer wallpaper set to a fall picture to keep me satisfied while the weather is trying to melt me. Anyways, I love wearing sweaters and even though it is so hot, I wore one today.

The sweater was my sister's but she doesn't wear it anymore since it had two big holes in the front. I saw this as an opportunity to make it into a wondrous ripped, grungy sweater. The skirt I got from Nordstrom and I love it to death. It's too bad it has to be dry cleaned. My lovely rainbow knee socks my aunt made me a few years ago. They wouldn't stay but to begin with but then my mum added some elastic and now they fit perfectly.

I like putting my hair up and this is a pretty simple way to make it special. I've got loads of bandanas so I just wrapped one around my head.

Ugh, what a terrible angle of my face :/
I absolutely love chokers and I'm sad I don't own many. I plan on remedying that over time. This one I love to death and got at Claire's. Same with the earrings.

I can't remember where I got these rings but they're pretty. The butterfly one is nice, even though it's tarnishing on the inside. At least it's going a nice copper and not a weird green. The other one is kind of steampunk so I like it a lot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Make Up Post: Black and White

I was lazy today and decided to forgo eye liner and just stick to shadow. I got new stripy black and white tights from Sock Dreams yesterday and I guess I was inspired.

As you can tell, I'm not the best at make up. Actually, I'm sort of terrible but I try. Eye liner is difficult for me but I think I'm pretty good at eye shadow. I tend to make the colours vibrant and I love contrast.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Writing Thoughts: Pouring yourself into your stories

Wow, three posts in one day! That's a new record I probably won't break anytime soon.

So, I had to read an article for my creative writing program that talked about some very interesting ideas.  The article was "Autographobia: Writing the Secret Life" by David Jauss, from his book Alone With All That Could Happen, and it touched on a few points, most about how an author writes themselves into their work. Now, I know what you're thinking. "Not everyone writes about themselves! I've written (or read) loads of stories that obviously didn't happen to me (or the author) or that couldn't even happen in real life!" Don't worry, that's what Jauss' point was, though with a few additions.

First off, he talked about how, as a writer, he has had people call him and talk about how they connected with his stories, thinking that the stories were autobiographical. Just as a side note, I found this very amusing that people actually do this sort of thing but that's just me. Anyway, Jauss then went on to explain how most writers do not write autobiographical stories, but that this doesn't mean that writers don't put a part of themselves in the stories they write. Now, I used to oppose this kind of idea. For a long time, I thought, "No, I NEVER put myself into my characters. They're not real, they're nothing like me!" I think I held onto this idea partially because my mum (who reads everything I write, the good and bad) kept comparing me to my main characters. This annoyed me a lot. I don't really know why it annoyed me as much as it did but I guess I went out to prove that, no I am not in disguise as my characters, thank you very much. Then, sometime last year, I was thinking back on some of my stories, bot recent and older pieces, and I realised something. All these characters seem to encompass qualities that I can relate to, maybe even some circumstances that are at least a teeny bit similar to ones I've experienced. My mind kind of imploded at that. Could I have really been wrong all this time? Could I really have been writing myself into my stories, all the while pretending not to?

The thing is, there's a slight difference between autobiographical writing and "writing" oneself into a story. The former is basically a diary entry, written down formally, maybe in third person, maybe not. The latter is incorporating one's own personality quirks, ideas, circumstance, etc. and changing them slightly as they are mixed with the other ingredients making up the story. Jauss called this the "secret self" and it is a way of gaining insight into the deeper layers of a person and holds more meaning than just recounting the facts of an event that happened ten years ago.

Wow, this has become a heavily intellectual post, hasn't it. I'm sure all of you can take it ;) Now, I'd love to hear any comments, thoughts, questions, etc. you may have.

What do you think about this "secret self" Jauss is on about? Is he right? Wrong? Missing something?

DIY: Literary Vest

Since my DIY abilities are very limited, I try to keep it simple. I while ago, I got a vest from Khol's and decided to spiff it up. Originally it was a vibrant blue, but I wasn't very fond of that so I dyed it. I used Rit's Wine dye and it turned a beautiful deep purple colour. Then, I took some white and black cloth and some craft paint and painted quotes on the material. Stuck them on with some safety clips and, voila! Instant quote patches!

quote from Robert Frost
H.P. Lovecraft
Poe again
E.L. Doctorow
Emily Dickinson
Shakespeare again
Silvia Plath
J.R.R. Tolkien
I also did this with a jean jacket I had, but instead of quotes, I made patches of some of my favourite bands. I'll post those pictures later.

Outfit Post: First Day of Classes

Today was the first day of classes for the fall quarter. Here's what I wore:

Goodness, this is a terrible picture

shirt: Think Geek
skirt: Khol's
tights: my mother's that she gave to me
boots: Hot Topic
vest: Khol's, DIY-modified by me (I'll post about that later)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Red Hair!

I dyed my hair yesterday. I actually had to do it twice because I missed the very top the first time. And I kind of stained the bath pink but I'm sure I can get it out.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I dyed it over my natural hair colour (brown), so it turned a dark red. It looks super pretty in the sunlight :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Life Update: Apartment, plus Outfit Post the First

Sorry I've been absent the last few days. I was super busy packing and moving into the apartment I'm sharing with friends in Eugene. I spent all day Thursday in the car and was quite grumpy. The previous night I had the great idea of watching The Exorcist and that plus the fact that the house was freezing meant I got no sleep. I managed to doze in the car a bit but not a lot.

Anyway, here's my new room! A lot bigger than the dorm room I was in last year, thank god. I decorated a bit today, but not a whole lot. I'll post more pictures when it's more decorated.

I'm going with a red and black theme. I love that colour combo :)

My mess desk, though it'll get messier I'm sure. And yes, I do have 2 computers...

My pretty wall! I've decorated it with pictures from a faery calendar I got 2 years ago. I love faeries (I'm actually getting another faery calendar for next year and I'll definitely add the pictures to the wall).

And since I've been gone so long and I've been doing homework all day, here are some more pictures. This is the outfit I wore last Sunday to a family friend's party:

cherry dress: Crossroads Thrift Store
black long sleeve shirt: Crossroads
tights: Nordstrom
lacey chocker: Claire's
shoes: Payless
rainbow shoe laces: Hiron's Drug Store

Okie doke, now off to dye my hair (dark red, I'm so excited!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life Update: Packing for school

So here's a little update about my life. I promise to keep these short and few so that I don't bore you :)

Bed covered in clothes, oh my
On Thursday I'm heading up to Eugene, Oregon to go back to school at the U of O (sophomore year, woot!). I live in Northern California (Bay Area) so the drive isn't that bad but it's still a full day's worth. And the car will be packed. The clothes you see up in the picture aren't all that's going with me. Though, I am taking less than last year and I was in a teeny tiny dorm room.

I am very happy that I'm living in an apartment this year. Not only do I know the people I'm rooming with already, but we each get our own rooms (with a full size bed and a ton of room to move around), there are two bath rooms, a kitchen and a living room. The place is already furnished and there's a laundry machine and a dryer in the apartment. Oh, and there's a rec/workout centre in the complex. It's like a dream.

Of course, I haven't actually seen the place in person. My friends and I were typical lazy college students and got a late start on apartment hunting. We had to decide on a place quickly.

I'm sure everything will be awesome and work out great.

Ok, back to packing...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Are you a Goth?

Yes and no. First off, let me tell you right away that I've only recently become an active member of the Goth subculture. And when I say recent, I mean it. It's been about 6 months now. But before you point your finger and scream "POSEUR!", hear me out.

For a long time, I've been interested in Goth and dark subculture. I've loved the fashion since the moment I first saw it. And I've been listening to some of the music identified with the early Goth movement. For the last couple years, I have loved Joy Division with a fiery passion. I've loved to read ever since I learned how and especially love many of "the classics", from Shakespeare and Milton to Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe. I like horror movies (not too fond of slashers, I'll admit) and read contemporary horror as well as classics. I'm a very creative person: a writer, a musician, even a touch of a visual artist. And ever since I've come to the subculture, I've learned all I can about the history of the subculture, the music, the fashion, etc. Does this make me a poseur or just a late-blooming babybat?

Let me indulge you in some personal history. I was always the weird kid in school. I practically regrew up with Star Trek as my main source of TV and I inherited a lot of geekry. This coupled with the fact that I moved around a lot during elementary school equaled me having a difficult gaining and keeping friends. I also really love patterns and elaborate things. I always seemed to be attracted to things, whether it was TV shows, music, or fashion, that others termed as strange. But for a long time (until only recently) I was afraid to be truly, one hundred percent open about my weirdness. I came slowly out of my shy shell starting in late middle school, but I always kept parts of myself hidden. Even from my family and people I considered friends. It was terrible, because it felt like I was still hiding behind a mask.

Then, last year I went to college. You know how every adult tells you right when you're about to go to college how it'll be "the time of your life" and how you'll "find yourself"? Well, it was true for me. Not only did I meet wonderful friends whom I love dearly and introduced me to great new things, but I was also finally able to look at myself and say "Screw it! I'm going to be who I am and not be afraid!". That's when I started on my journey to becoming a creepy spookster in black ;)

Joking aside, there's another reason why I say that I'm both a Goth and not. For many of you in the subculture, you are well aware of the plethora of debates. What's more important: Goth fashion or Goth music? Can someone who dresses Goth but doesn't listen to the music still be a Goth? What about the other way around? What is Goth music? What isn't? What about those people who like horror movies and cemeteries and Victorian literature? Are they Goth?

Just thinking about it makes my head spin and ache. And while one person says one thing, another recounts it and another has an entirely different view. Who is right? Well, I won't answer that, but I will say that I do use the term "Goth" more loosely than some others. I know it's a bad habit and I am working on it. That is why I'm fond of saying that I am a part of dark subculture or Schwarze Szene (the German term. If you're interested about this term, read this great article by Amy Asphodel over at Stripy Tights and Dark Delights. It does a great job of explaining it). But if someone comes up to me and asks, "Hey, are you a Goth?" I won't laugh in their face and say haughtily "No." I'll smile and say, "Yes" because if I start babbling about some dark culture stuff, they'll get quite confused and uncomfortable.

So, the TL;DR summary is: I am a member of dark culture, which includes Goth, even though I am a very new addition. I hope that my n00b status doesn't make too many people cringe. I don't consider myself a poseur or a mallgoth, but I'll admit that I do not know all there is to know, even though I have researched a lot. And I'm always willing to learn more.

Comments? Questions? Jokes?

Hello there!

My name is Ariadne Blackmoore and welcome to my blog. I've been hesitant to start one because I have a tendency to start things an then abandon them, but I was inspired by some of the blogs I read (see in the side bar under Blogs I Frequent, they're all great reads) and I am going to make an extra special effort to keep this going.

First off, let me tell you what you can expect to find here. I am a newbie or "babybat" to the Goth/dark subculture (and I mean real newcomer, more on this later) so I will be blogging about topics pertaining to that, from my opinions on some of the most talked about debates within the subculture to outfit and make up posts and lots in between. I am also a writer and I might post some of my short stories/other writings on here. It may be only a few of them, but I will post more if you guys like them :) Other than that, I blog about other things I am interested in and maybe a touch of what is going on in my life. I promise not to bombard you with personal drama. That would be cruel torture ;)

mmm tasty pen....
That's it for the intro, now let's get started!
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