books read by other people

It Takes A Long Time To Get Over Yourself


Oh, man. This letter has taken me an embarrassingly long time to write. Probably because I haven’t written anything but e-mails and Tweets for 12 years.

If the last year has taught me anything, it’s this: it takes a long time to get over yourself.

Last March, after 7 years on the road, I decided to take a break. I was excited about this. I’d imagined myself watching tv all day, being a “chill person”, eating doughnuts because I didn’t have to wear latex catsuits anymore. The reality was not quite the joy ride I’d been expecting.

I’ve been an artist for over a decade but up until this year, I hadn’t realised how much my sense of self had been defined by my role as an artist. I’d never thought of “Marina and the Diamonds” as a persona or a construct, and I didn’t think the stage-me was very different to the sofa-me. MATD was an exciting vehicle that helped me express ideas and thoughts to people. But just as people construct online personas, artist construct visual ones, and over time, the lines between art and reality can drift apart. 

I can’t remember when I first became conscious of it but I started to feel like there were two parts of me, artist self and private self, and there was nothing in between to link the two anymore. I was one or the other, and neither part of my personality could be present in the same environment. Perhaps because I’d spent most of the past 8 years devoted to being an artist and this hadn’t presented many opportunities for other parts of my personality to grow. When one part of a personality dominates, other parts shrink and life can take on an unreal, two-dimensional quality. I felt confused as to why I no longer felt like I fit into the world I’d built. I don’t think my feelings are exceptional (particularly in entertainment) but I wonder if you are someone who has experienced this in a different context.

I’ve always been interested in identity. In my twenties, I felt frustrated by how regularly my identity seemed to shift and change until I began to consider the idea that a fixed self may not exist. I explored this in “Electra Heart” by deconstructing aspects of female identity in a portrayal of female archetypes. However, the past year has made me re-examine this idea. Not being able to equate my identity to a job, project or visible entity has created a lot of discomfort and uncertainty in me. Which has been a surprise, as I thought I felt secure in myself. How can I be so sure of who I am if I am so susceptible to change? A lot of what contributes to our idea of identity is down to pure chance - ethnicity, social class, upbringing, religion, job, relationships - who are we without those influences?

Everything in western culture feels so geared towards self-definition, but I wonder if having a looser idea of yourself could make life richer. The past year hasn’t been full of rainbows - I feel like my brain has been brutally rewired - but letting go of a perceived idea of myself has resulted in a new kind of personal freedom. My image is no longer a main source of identity, nor are previous signifiers like clothing (more on this in a future post), designer brands + other things I subconsciously used to define myself.

Lasting change rarely happens over night. This past year has been painful and slow. But I’m in a more genuine space than I was a year ago and I would never want to go back to that stunted way of being again. In fact, the only solace I had in this period was being able to read the books and blogs of other people experiencing significant life transitions, so I hope this might be of help to anyone who is going through a similar stage.

Truth is, I’m not planning ahead much right now. I am indeed going through my “what should I do with the rest of my life” phase that most people go through at 21. Which is… cool. But I’m grateful to have the opportunity to explore different interests, and starting marinabook is a part of that. I’m starting a Psychology course soon, which I am SO excited about, and I’m ready for a brand new chapter. I hope you’ll be a part of it.

Some people have been asking about new music and I’m always flattered to be asked. I know one year is like an aeon in digital time! The honest answer is I don’t know when that will be, but the connection I have with music has always flowered from an honest connection with myself, and I trust my instincts. Whenever I get back on stage again, I would love to feel like I am the sum of my parts, not the sum of a persona or an image. That’s the goal. A lot of reality with a little bit of fantasy. So, marinabook is a way for us to stay connected while I work that out.

I miss you all!

Ask a question or share thoughts here.

Love from,
Marina

Further Reading

Brilliant explanation of personas here. 5 minute read.

Podcast on how our views about the Self affect our views on death.  By “Philosophy Bites”.  15 minutes.

Illustration by Lan Truong

i want to take the train and just go. go to another city and explore it by myself with music playing in my ears. sit in a cafe, sip some coffee while reading a book and watch other people. take pictures of famous attractions. talk with the people who live there and learn what they think about life. i always have this strong desire to go and explore. a never ending wanderlust for life.

6

books read in 2017: the gentlemans guide to vice and virtue 

Two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

reading one star reviews of books you hated on goodreads just to stew in your bitterness is such a happy cozy feeling

When I say I want to read the book before seeing the movie, I don’t want brownie points or bragging rights. I want to be able to read the book with my imagined world and idea of the characters without the movie’s influence at least once. After you see the movie there’s always some part of it that sticks in your head for a long time and you lose the enjoyment of making it up yourself.

@ all you bookworms

here’s just a friendly reminder that your love for reading isn’t defined by what you like to read, how you like to read, or how much you read!

you’re still cool no matter what genres you like or don’t like.

you’re still cool if you prefer ebooks to paper books (or vice versa).

you’re still cool if you get your books from the library rather than buying them.

you’re still cool if you read books no one has ever heard of rather than popular best sellers.

you’re still cool if you don’t have picture perfect book shelves.

and you’re still cool if you don’t read as many books as other people are reading.

reading isn’t a competition. it isn’t about doing what everyone else may be doing, it’s about finding books that interest you and taking enjoyment from reading them. you don’t have to like what other people like or do what they do, you just have to keep doing you and whatever makes you happy.

there are some respects (especially as regards worldbuilding) in which LOTR is a lot more nuanced and detailed than many later users of the genre conventions it helped popularize and so there’s some stuff that Tolkienesque fantasy gets criticised for that Tolkien himself doesn’t actually tend to do

there’s obviously plenty to criticise in LOTR itself, but it’s not always what seems obvious based on later examples of the genre, and it’s fascinating to see how those tropes have mutated

The Dangers of Spirit Work

To avoid a fate that I did not wish to partake in, I had to make a choice:

Manually destroy my soul, my entire being, and remain a husk with no purpose or feelings for the rest of my life.

Walk away from the metaphysical forever, disregarding the years that I’ve spent gaining knowledge of this path and leaving behind all of my friends and lover.

Or commit suicide to avoid choosing between those two options and hope that whatever underworld I end up in will protect me.


Years ago when I was a beginner, I crossed paths with someone who was reintroducing themselves to spirit work after quitting it for a few years. They spoke a lot about how they were wary about going too deep because of the “dangers”. Even then, I knew of the dangers, a lot of my first encounters were being attacked by spirits after all. Banish, ward, eat, kill, that’s how you take care of them, it was simple really. Sure the dangers may seem scary but if you hold your ground you’ll be fine. The worst thing that can happen to you is the death of your astral self, yet it regrows after some time. Painful but not the end of the world! Sure the dangers were numerous, but as long as you know how to banish, ward, and cleanse, you’ll be fine, right?

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The Girl

pairing: min yoongi x reader

word count: 1923

genre: fluff that turned pretty angsty

A/N: This is for my beautiful little nugget @jaxonah. I hope you love it, just as much as i love you 💞💞💞

——————————–

Yoongi had been locked up in his studio all day. He desperately tried to finish up the song he was working on, but something just wasn’t right. It didn’t flow like he had wanted it to. He leaned back in his chair and rubbed his tired eyes. When he glanced down at the silver watch on his wrist, he knew that it was time to go and get his daily dose of caffeine that would hopefully give him the pick-me-up that he needed. He got up, grabbed his hoodie from the couch and headed out the door.  “Where are you going?” Hoseok appeared in front of him. “Just getting coffee. Do you want anything?” The younger one shook his head and held up his thermal mug. “Thanks but I’m good.”
He could have just made coffee in the studio like the others usually did but he needed to get out. In his mind, he made up the same excuse every day. He just wanted to stretch his legs, get some fresh air and take his mind off for just a few minutes. It was easier than admitting the real reason behind his daily coffee runs. He quickened his pace as he was walking down the street.  Every step that took him closer to his destination made his heart beat faster in anticipation. He hated how much this was affecting him. Not only him but also his work. Sometimes he cursed himself for leaving his studio two weeks ago because back then, he had been able to concentrate on his music, and only his music but now he found his mind wandering off and nothing seemed to come out right. He stopped in his tracks and peeked trough the window of the coffee shop.

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anonymous asked:

Gay people used to have their own bookstores and cafes but what happened was capitalism. Do you go to a local coffeeshop or do you get Starbucks? Do you buy your books from Amazon or Barnes&Noble instead of looking for a small business? This is why all those places disappeared. Most LGBT centers have gay choirs, though, they're just not skewed young to the queer community.

GOOD POINT ANON! There are few Gay Bookstores left, A LOT have gone out of business in the last few years. They all sell books, movies, gay flags, etc. and almost all of them are now combined with something else to survive: bookstore + coffee shop, bookstore + sex shop, bookstore + art shop, gay books + feminist/women’s books. Almost of all them have free dating nights, parties, book readings, book signings and other events where you can meet lesbian and gay people. Follow them on FB, IG and Twitter to keep up with their events. If you can’t actually go to any of these stores, please support them by ordering something from them online. We need to keep our places open! 

🇺🇸 United States 🇺🇸

Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room > site
12th & Pine - Philadelphia, PA

Bureau of General Services - Queer Division (BGSQD) > site
208 W 13th St, Rm 210 (in The LGBT Centre) NYC, NY

Outwords Books, Gifts & Coffee > site
2710 N. Murray Ave - Milwaukee, WI

Charis Books and More > site
Moreland Ave NE & Euclide Ave NE - Atlanta, GA

Women & Children First > site
5233 N Clarke St - Chicago, IL

Common Language Bookstore > site
317 Braun Court - Ann Arbour, MI


🇨🇦 Canada 🇨🇦

Glad Day Bookstore > site
Church & Wellesley - Toronto, ON

Little Sisters Book & Art Emporium (and sex shop) > site
Davie & Jervis - Vancouver, BC


ADD YOUR LOCAL SHOP TO THIS LIST!!! 

I’m just … sad and the world feels a little lost right now.

Some people take sensitivity courses. Others read books.
—  Both learn to empathize with people they’ve never met.

i’m ngl my gayness increases slightly every time i watch dps like BYE it’s too much k that’s all i needed to say

Facts you would never know if you didn't ask
  • 1.) applesauce or pudding?
  • 2.) what was your initial reaction when you first realized that your parents had to have had sex to have you?
  • 3.) if you could create ANY mix-up or mythical animal and have it be brought to life, what would it be?
  • 4.) what kind of bread do you prefer?
  • 5.) describe a moment that is a prominent memory, but didn't have a strong impact on your life.
  • 6.) what is the quote/lyric that you relate to most?
  • 7.) if there was one problem/issue you could wipe off the face of the earth, what would it be?
  • 8.) do you think everyone in our lives serves a purpose, or are some people just there?
  • 9.) Favorite knock-knock/cheesy joke?
  • 10.) how do you feel about getting your picture taken?
  • 11.) most embarrassing poster you've ever owned?
  • 12.) what are the 3 worst movies of all time?
  • 13.) when was the last time you were in a public setting and a stranger annoyed you?
  • 14.) strangest pet peeve?
  • 15.) what is a quirk you find cute in a significant other?
  • 16.) if you could make a guest appearance in ANY show, which one would you choose?
  • 17.) who do you think is the most underrated comedian?
  • 18.) based on your personality, what do you think your spirit animal is?
  • 19.) color combination that you hate?
  • 20.) what is your favorite childhood memory?
  • 21.) what cartoon character do you most resonate with?
  • 22.) what game do you never lose at?
  • 23.) what does your dream home look like?
  • 24.) Honestly, do you love your family, like them, dislike them, or hate them?
  • 25.) pettiest argument you've ever been in?
  • 26.) what is the weirdest article of clothing you've ever come across?
  • 27.) what is your favorite day of the week?
  • 28.) Do you feel offended by swear words?
  • 29.) Stupidest dare you've ever done?
  • 30.) Did your parents ever compare you to your siblings or cousins growing up? Did that affect the way things turned out?
  • 31.) You get to be any person in the world for a whole week. Who do you choose?
  • 32.) one food you hate that should be destroyed at all costs?
  • 33.) What is your favorite past time for each of the four seasons?
  • 34.) what is something that will always make you laugh?
  • 35.) what does your pet look like?
  • 36.) describe your favorite outfit.
  • 37.) most annoying noise you've ever heard?
  • 38.) at what age did you learn to drive?
  • 39.) What is something that you own which you know you probably shouldn't?
  • 40.) last thing you made with your own 2 hands?
  • 41.) Favorite time of day?
  • 42.) Do you believe in ghosts, spirits, or any kind of afterlife?
  • 43.) what sports did you do in school?
  • 44.) if you had been voted for a 'superlative' in your last yearbook (class clown, laziest, most likely to become president, etc) what would you have been voted?
  • 45.) reality show idea that you would most definitely watch on television?
  • 46.) do you still own a landline phone?
  • 47.) scariest storm you've ever had in your town?
  • 48.) skill you wish you had?
  • 49.) what is something you wish you could talk more about, but don't for fear of what other people would think?
  • 50.) last book you read?
  • 51.) what does your calendar have on it?
  • 52.) what do you do if you get stopped by a person selling something from a mall kiosk?
  • 53.) infomercial you're beyond tired of seeing?
  • 54.) what was your first stuffed animal/doll's name?
  • 55.) have you ever said something out of anger and instantly regretted it?
  • 56.) how do you feel about raising minimum wage?
  • 57.) how would you spend a perfect day with your best friend?
  • 58.) when was the last time you changed the oil in your car?
  • 59.) did you ever have to do speech therapy?
  • 60.) something you're looking forward to in the future?

The Netflix Series of Unfortunate Events is turning out to be awesome! Super stoked for season 2. Loving how VFD members are getting a lot more screen time too! And Lemony Snicket!! And UNCLE MONTY!!!

You know what I love. For the most part the IT fandom doesn’t snarky elitist bloggers that talk down to you if you haven’t read the book. And if you ship something that other people, we don’t shit on each other for it, because there’s no hierarchy of shipping. We honestly just make dank sewer memes all day and second-hand parent 7 kids???