Happy 200th birthday to Henry David Thoreau, a writer and thinker who fundamentally challenged and forever altered people’s relationship with the natural world. His 1854 work Walden was composed after he spent two years, two months, and two days living in a relatively isolated cabin on Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. He built the cabin himself, in woodlands owned by his friend and fellow transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. In the book, Thoreau explores the idea of the four seasons as a metaphor for human development. Walden also emphasizes the importance of connecting with nature as a way of transcending the trappings of a busy modern life, an idea that still resonates today.
My dearest baby Serena da Silva has her birthday today, October 17th, and it’s not just any birthday - today marks the day she was born 200 years ago! EEEP how exciting is that? You only get to celebrate an anniversary like that once in your lifetime!
If you’re unfamiliar with Serena, she is my character from my book project series for Amnesia: The Dark Descent, in which she plays a major role. She’s probably the character nearest and dearest to my heart, and she tends to be a fan favourite among readers as well, so I wanted to do something extra special for this particular anniversary.
So here comes: a birthday feature! In which I display all the amazing gifts Serena has received today.
First of all, I want to show the wip of what I had planned to do for Serena, which unfortunately I couldn’t finish in time since my laptop screen broke at the WORST. TIMING. EVER. I meant to have this artwork ready for today, but since I won’t be able to finish it until later, I’ll share a wip of the clean sketch:
I must admit, I’m quite proud of it! It’s the first time I experiment with perspective and interiors for real, and I also usually suck at drawing animals, but Cleo (Serena’s cat) came out quite okay here, so I’m happy! I hope I’ll be able to finish it sooner rather than later.
And now, let’s get into the amazing gifts my baby has received today AAAHHH!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you might know that @juliajm15 is an art goddess who’s been making amazing beautiful fanart of my characters for the past couple years. She always goes so above and beyond for me, and that can be seen by LOOKING AT THIS GORGEOUS PIECE OF SERANIEL FANART.
IT’S THEIR FIRST KISS. THEY’RE SO YOUNG AND INNOCENT HERE. THAT HEIGHT DIFFERENCE. THAT DRESS. THAT HAIR (BOTH OF THEM). I COULD GO ON GUSHING BUT WE’D BE HERE ALL DAY.
OH YEAH, AND THAT BACKGROUND.
I just had to mention that.
OMG I die over how perfect and cute and romantic this is, it just completely captures the essence and emotion of that scene in my book! I feel so blessed and privileged, how am I ever gonna recover from this perfection?
But not only did she do this amazing gorgeous romantic piece for me, she also did a complete remake of Serena’s character portrait and DAMN SHE LOOKS GORGEOUS.
HOW does she always manage to capture Serena so perfectly? Ugh I honestly just can’t with this perfection, I just can’t. That expression, that hair, those LIPS. Okay, I’m gonna move on because I could literally gush about Serena’s face all day, but then we’d miss out on all the other amazing gifts she received today! Just, thank you so much @juliajm15 my darling, you’re such a generous and ultra skilled human being, thank you so much for being in my life and supporting me always
So meme and aesthetics queen @shaelinwrites totally disarmed me today when she sent me THIS GORGEOUS MOODBOARD FOR SERENA OH MY LORD.
LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS WINTER AESTHETIC. OMG LOOK, CLEO MADE A CAMEO ON THE BOTTOM LEFT. Omg these colours are just too beautiful I CAN’T. The art supplies, the gesture and expression of this girl, it’s all SO Serena. The whole feel of this moodboard is just so romantic and cosy and wintery and ugh, the nightgown, the long dark hair. I’m aware I’m just rambling and gushing throughout this post DEAL WITH IT.
And @shaelinwrites didn’t stop there, no, as any good bae, she knew how important the bae is. HAVE SOME MORE SERANIEL, THIS TIME BLACK AND WHITE SEXY EDITION.
OH MY LORD. HOW WILL I EVER RECOVER FROM ALL OF THIS. I CANNOT DEAL, CAN. NOT. DEAL.
All of this is literally just so accurate. Like, it’s so friggin’ hard to find good stock images that can embody a fictional character, BUT MY BAE DID IT *CRIES*. Thank you so much bae, omg this surprise was such a highlight today!!
Another dear friend of mine (who’s a total cinnamon roll btw), @coffeeandcalligraphy, also went above and beyond for my character’s birthday because LOOK AT THIS:
I swear, everyone remembers the bae Baeniel. Eeeeeveryone.
Omg I swear, MY BABIES LOOK SO ATTRACTIVE HERE LIKE OH MY LORD. Daniel boooiiiiiii with that Expression of Angst™ and them puffy lips, and SERENA OMG THE HAIR AND THE LIPS AND EYES, HER INDIGENOUS ROOTS ARE SO PRONOUNCED WITH HER EYES AND I LOVE THAT.
I actually can’t??? Like how do I have so many talented af friends??? I must be a talent MAGNET I’m telling ya.
Oh and Rachel had the same idea as Baelin and went the sexy Black and White edition with the OTP as well:
BECAUSE CAN WE EVER HAVE TOO MUCH SEXINESS? I THINK NOT. Thank you so much @coffeeandcalligraphy I swear your art just blows me away, you’re improving at such a rapid pace, slow down, I can’t keep up
Also @sarahkelsiwrites is a close friend of mine, and actually @coffeeandcalligraphy‘s twin sister (gotta collect the whole pack amirite), and as part of her inktober challenge she did THIS GORGEOUS INKED PORTRAIT OF SERENA:
LIKE OMG OKAY SO the Victorian aesthetic is on POINT here, and OMG I love that her Hispanic features are soooo visible here. ALSO DAMN, THE DETAIL ON THE JEWELLERY. THE INKING OF THIS IS ALSO SO GREAT, LIKE, DO YOU SEE THE LINES IN HER HAIR???? I’m sorry, I’m an artist, I have to appreciate it when I see good craft, okay? I also gotta note that I’m living for how everyone always remembers Serena’s choker because girl never goes without one
Ugh HER EYES AND LIPS okay I gotta stop. I mention the eyes and lips every time, when will I switch it up. NEVER. Okay, glad we got that settled.
(Yes, I’m a dork, but only when I’m overwhelmed with this much love and beauty, I swear.)
Also omg THE SONG LYRICS, THOSE ARE SELENA GOMEZ LYRICS, AND IT’S STARS DANCE, AND I LOVE THAT SONG, AND IT’S SO RELEVANT, AND I’M ACTUALLY SHOOK. LORD thank you so much @sarahkelsiwrites god I just can’t believe how friggin’ talented and generous and thoughtful all of you are, I will never get over it.
So I’ve not mentioned this, but not too long ago I was totally taken by surprise and utterly *shook* when I received a private message on the site where I have Memoirs posted. This long message came from an angel named Constance, who registered a profile just to tell me how much she adored my story, give me fanart, and TELL ME SHE’S TRANSLATING THE ENTIRE THING TO FRENCH BRUH.
So if any of you out there are speaking French and not super comfortable with English, but still interested in reading Memoirs, it’s Constance you wanna hit up. She’s got you covered.
But back to the FANART.
Constance is working on this GORGEOUS Serena fanart for me, and while it’s not all finished yet, she said I could still post it for the birthday feature! (I’m going to update the post with the finished piece once it’s ready)
LOOK HOW CUTE AND PRETTY AND YOUNG MY SERENA IS HERE. THIS DRESS IS SO PRETTY, I DIE. OMG SHE HAS THE LOCKET. I realise like 90% of this post is all caps, but WHO CAN BLAME ME? I’m so #blessedyouknow right.
All I wanted in my life is Serena in a pink pretty dress. Thank you for realising my dreams, Constance *cries* and thank you so much for the endless support and this generosity! Seeing other people getting so invested in my story and characters really moves me so much, it’s all that I could hope for waaahh.
2k17 - Birthday One Shot
Okay, so I know how I said I couldn’t finish my artwork for Serena in time as I had intended, which made me very, very Sad™, BUT. I came up with something else.
So this was actually SUPER spontaneous and I usually NEVER do something like this, but I took a chance, and you know what? It worked out. I just wanna say thank you so much to my bae @shaelinwrites who pushed and motivated me to do this, I dunno what happened, but you must’ve transferred some of your writing machine abilities to me, because I actually managed to finish an entire one shot in JUST ONE DAY. (Are you as shook as I am? Cuz I can never seem to finish a chapter so I’m shook.)
Since I couldn’t finish my artwork for Serena like I planned, I decided to write a short fluffy non-canon one shot for her birthday. It was super spontaneous and unplanned, but it actually came surprisingly easy to write! I’ve not written in first person in many, many years, so this was really a leap of faith LOL, but I like the end result! A major thanks to @shaelinwrites, who encouraged me and critiqued the short before publication, and @coffeeandcalligraphy, @sarahkelsiwrites and @juliajm15 for giving it a read and telling me their thoughts as well! I hope you all enjoy this little piece of fluff; since I’m taking so long to write my book, maybe this can keep y’all entertained meanwhile
Thank you so much to everyone who’s supported me and celebrated Serena’s birthday with me, even just in spirit! It makes the long journey all worth it, knowing there are people out there who care (’:
Happy 200th Birthday to writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. This census record from 1850 shows Thoreau (line 33) living with his parents in Concord. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 44 in 1862.
Hinata hummed lightly and tilted her head at the fancy menu. “Just how bloody is the Bloody Mary?”
The young waitress seemed to be caught off guard by the question. She’d been staring at the couple since they walked in and honestly they reminded her of The Addams Family. The male was tall and dressed in a triple black suit. His eyes were just as dark with an undertone of red when the light caught them. His hair was seemingly carefree hanging just above his shoulders. His face was just…breathtaking but not as much as the woman with him.
She was dressed in a long black dress that trailed behind her. Her hair was slicked back revealing cross earrings…and her eyes. They sent chills down the waitress’s spin. Pupil-less and opaque.
“Your beauty is scaring her,” the male simply stated.
“I…I…” The human girl stumbled. “We have, um, a vampire menu.” Her cheeks were a fantastic red.
Hinata smiled at the girl. “I think that would be delightful.”
She nodded and hurried off. Sasuke sighed and rested his cheek on his knuckles. “Why are we here? There are too many voices, sounds…people.”
“You’re too old not to know how to block that out.” Sasuke’s eyes narrowed but Hinata continued. “It’s your birthday.”
“I haven’t celebrated my birthday in fifty years. Why start again now?”
“Sasuke looked around,” she said softly. “So many things have changed and-”
“You want the lava cake?”
“Yes but-” she giggled and sighed. “It’s half off with birthdays.” She clasped her hands together. “I looked it up on the Google before we arrived.”
Sasuke shook his head. “You’re such an old woman.”
“Says the man that threw his phone in the fireplace.”
“It spoke to me.”
“Siri only wants to help. She’s very kind.”
“Remember when we didn’t have devices?”
Hinata nodded. “My students refer to it as The Dark Ages and I agree. I must ask would you give up your car for a horse again?”
Sasuke closed his eyes. “I was told that it ran off of a horse’s power. I am, therefore, content with my car.”
Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton?—a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!—I have as much soul as you,—and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh;—it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,—as we are!
Happy 200th Birthday Charlotte Bronte 21st April 1816 - 31st March 1855
Ivy had been enjoying a relaxing night at her home, reading and sipping at wine glass full of animal blood. The young woman had been turned into a vampire in the Victorian era and now she was over two hundred years old. She had never been like other vampires, instead of drinking human blood she hunted animals and drank their blood. Of course she had drunk from humans before but only if it was necessary. Still, she never killed, not once. Everyone around her wanted her to be a “better” vampire. They wanted her to hunt humans and keep blood slaves, especially since vampires rose up against humans and took over the world. Still, Ivy preferred what vampires considered an alternative life style. The only reason any vampires still spoke to her was because she was beautiful Ivy had many men and women interesting her, but she could never see herself with another vampire. All they wanted to do was change her.
A knock came to the door of Ivy’s house. It was a good size, an old Victorian style home, it reminded her of where she grew up. It was filled with modern amenities of course, and Ivy herself dressed in modern clothing. In fact she usually wore nice blouses and skirts. Though today she wore a simple pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Getting up from her couch she went to the door and glanced out the window on the door to see who it was. A sigh left her lips as she opened to door to Eric. Eric was a tall blonde vampire from Scandinavia. He had a lot of interest in Ivy. He was always bothering her to join his club, telling her she’d make a fantastic dancer. Of course Ivy wasn’t interested, she liked her nice quiet life, and due to her “father” being a particularly important vampire, she certainly didn’t need the money.
“What do you want, Eric?” Ivy asked, clear annoyance in her voice.
“Happy 200th Birthday, Ivy.” Eric replied with a sly grin. Ivy just rolled her eyes, it wasn’t her real birthday. Merely the day she was turned into a vampire. “Any way, i have a gift you. I was just at the Blood auctions and she caught my eye, I thought she might be perfect for you.” He stepped aside to reveal a beautiful woman standing behind him, her hands were bound behind her back and she looked slightly roughed up.
“What the fuck, Eric!” Ivy said angrily, her eyes turning red. “What the hell do you expect me to do with her?!”
“Anything you want of course,”
“No! Nope take her back. Let her go. You know I don’t want a blood slave.”
Eric let out an exasperated sigh and shook his head. “Alright, I’ll just take her to my club and let the others play with her.” He said, starting to turn around. It was Ivy’s turn to sigh.
“Fine. Leave her here, asshole. I don’t know what you’re expecting out of this but it certainly won’t be what you want.” She said taking the woman’s rope and leading her inside. Eric was going to say something but she slammed the door on him, not wanting to hear anything else from him. Sighing again she looked at the woman.
“I am sorry.” She said, walking up to her to untie her wrists. “Eric is an asshole. They all are.”
Happy 200th Birthday Julia Margaret Cameron Pioneering Pre-Raphaelite/Victorian photographer.
Cameron was a controversial photographer, rebelling against what was seen as a good photograph in favour of a more ‘painterly’ approach, by breaking the mould she created some of the most beautiful images of the 19th Century. She was also the great-aunt of Virginia Woolf & Vanessa Bell.
Freddy Gould, 1866 Prince Alamayu Florence Beatrice Cenci (model: Kate Keown),1898 Mary Ryan, 1867 Marie Spartali, 1867-8 Julia Jackson, 1864 Thomas Carlyle, 1867
Let's Talk About Sax: Happy 200th birthday Adolphe Sax
Happy 200th birthday Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. Thanks to him, famous musicians such as John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Branford Marsalis, Timothy McAllister, Sonny Rollins, Clarence Clemons, even Bill Clinton and Lisa Simpson, have something to brag about.