merricats

I’ve been rereading Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, one of my favorites. The rhythm of the first paragraph caught me, so I drew it.

(I wasn’t sure which Richard Plantagenet Merricat is referring to—there are a lot. Wikipedia somewhat arbitrarily says it’s Richard of Eastwell, who does seem he might be interesting to her, but Richard II might also appeal to her sense of drama. I chose Eastwell, though.)

update: you can get this as a print.

merricats

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#let’s not talk about mark and roger shall we WOW NO, LET’S!!!!!

thisi iN LITERALLY THE GREATEST POST I HAVE EVER SEEN??? LIKE???!? I JUST WANT 2 KISS U RN *___*

bless you omg i thank you for this it’s so comforting to sink back into my rent feelings 

merricats

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#let’s not talk about mark and roger shall we WOW NO, LET’S!!!!!

P.S. lets talk about how in one of the final stage performances, during Contact, the actor playing Mark shouted “ROGER” and i cried and i was in the bath?????      

WAIT WAHT HE WHAT

I’M???

OF COURSE HE DID THOUGH

omg and this is like…

sometimes i ship them and sometimes i don’t but even if this was meant as a final performance joke it’s still entirely in character  that mark would go there. for any reason at all! 

and the thing is we may never know! because as we’ve just discussed mark bottles up a ton of shit and “shit”, in my book of reference, usually involves romantic/sexytime feelings for someone you’re friends with 

eh whatever i don’t care as long as they’re happy

just another pair of friends who love each other so much and in such a complicated way that they can’t even vocalize it

ha ha ha ah ha

Wowowowowowowow! ♥ I do not know why I waited so so long to pick up Shirley Jackson!! She has instantly become a favourite author! Instantly! I adored this book. Merricat is wonderful, probably one of my favourite characters ever. The story was magical and shocking. Creepy and chilling. Impossible to put down. Now I will read all the Shirley Jackson! 50000/5 from me XO Kendal Eliza

I had always buried things, even when I was small; I remember that once I quartered the long field and buried something in each quarter to make the grass grow higher as I grew taller, so I would always be able to hide there. I once buried six blue marbles in the creek bed to make the river beyond run dry. ‘Here is a treasure for you to bury,’ Constance used to say to me when I was small, giving me a penny, or a bright ribbon; I had buried all my baby teeth as they came out one by one and perhaps someday they would grow as dragons. All our land was enriched with my treasures buried in it, thickly inhabited just below the surface with my marbles and my teeth and my colored stones, all perhaps turned to jewels by now, held together under the ground in a powerful taut web which never loosened, but held fast to guard us.
—  We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson

I’ve been wondering for years if there was a Northern Gothic subgenre, the way there’s a Southern Gothic.  Now, as meganphntmgrl has pointed out, “gothic” means something very specific; not all horror falls under that label.  Southern gothic stuff is “gothic” due to the mixture of horror with of fallen aristocracy and a strong sense of the spiritual.  So, does the north have that?

New England does.  This, I think, is where you’ll find stuff that can genuinely be described as “gothic” over the Mason-Dixon line.  I’m not talking about Stephen King territory here (although I’d say ‘Salem’s Lot qualifies) but I am talking about Lovecraft and Shirley Jackson and Dark Shadows.  I’m talking about the legacy of the Puritans mixed with so-called “blue blood” coasting on riches won long ago, Merricat looking out the window of her burned-down castle, Charles Dexter Ward discovering just why his ancestors had to flee Salem, or Victoria Winters witnessing the dark beginnings of the Collins family.  (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward reads a bit like a Dark Shadows arc, actually…)

As a matter of fact, I can still remember what the college guidebooks had to say about all the small liberal art schools I applied to in the Northeast.  “New England winters are a punishment from god for hanging old ladies in the 1700s” said one Hampshire student.  No kidding.

My Favourite books of 2017 (So Far...)

I read a lot of books; so far this year I’ve read 27. Books are a huge part of my life and are part of what makes me, well, me! But considering I read so much I don’t post about the books I read enough at all. So, here are my favourite books out of the ones I’ve read so far this year. I’ll try to keep this updated as the year goes on…

1. The Power by Naomi Alderman

If you’re interested in feminism then you HAVE to read this book. It’s told from the perspective of 4 people; Roxy, Margot and Allie (girls) and Tunde (boy). They live in a world where women gain the ability to produce electricity from their hands and with this power become the more dominant gender. It’s so interesting being able to read how this affects the girls and also how it affects the men of the world, from the perspective of Tunde. 

2. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

If you’ve read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart then you’ll like this. Shirley Jackson is a phenomenal writer. Merricat lives in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and Uncle Julian for company. Her sister Constance has been accused of murdering the rest of their family and since then they have cut themselves off from the rest of the world, but the rest of the world won’t leave them alone. Their cousin Charles appears with hopes of gaining access to the safe but upon his arrival their secrets are revealed. The town surrounding their house have their own theories about what really happened, with children singing;  “Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea? / Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me. / Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep? / Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!” This book is a quirky page turner that will send shivers down your spine. It’s a short book that could easily be read in one sitting.

3. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Anyone that knows me will know that this book has a special place in my heart. I read it for the first time when I was fifteen and it came into my life at the most perfect time; since then my copy has become covered in highlights, notes and post-its and each time I read it I get the same feeling. It’s about two people, Finch and Violet, who meet on the edge of their school bell tower. Finch struggles with his mental health and spends a lot of his time thinking about dying and Violet is grieving over the death of her sister. They pair up for a school project and set off exploring the wonders of their state; it’s not exactly a coming of age story, but as they travel you see them both falling in love with life again. I haven’t read a YA book where the couple has this same believable and striking connection since Augustus and Hazel, and I applaud Jennifer Niven for the way that she deals with mental illness in such a careful yet honest way. I re-read this book whenever I’m having a hard time and in need of some comfort, because it makes me feel like I am not alone, and reminds me that life is worth living.

4. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Obviously the Drama student would have to have a play slipped in there somewhere ;) This year I have fallen in love with Tennessee Williams and am currently working my way through his plays. So far I have read this one, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer, but this is by far my favourite. This play makes you think. It is full of symbolism and twists and turns and is almost one big puzzle piece, where everything ties together and makes sense at the end. Seemingly pretentious Blanche DuBois (who I think is one of the best characters ever written) arrives in New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella and brother-in-law Stanley, whom she clashes with immediately. Coming from a rich background, Blanche is quick to judge their working class lives but accepts it because she has nowhere else to go. As the play proceeds her true reasons for leaving Laurel to visit her sister are revealed, and the reasons go far beyond paying her sister a friendly visit. Tennessee Williams’ writing is beautiful and poetic and the way that he portrays Blanche and her descent is absolutely incredible. Even if you’re skeptical about reading plays pleaaaassseeeee read this one!!!!! It’s way more interesting than I’m describing I just don’t want to give it away lol.

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Classics are classics for a reason. Jane is a true heroine and this novel is a staple piece of feminist literature. As an orphan Jane was left to live with her Aunt Reed before being sent to live under the cruel regime of Lowood charity school; she grows up and accepts a governess post at Thornfield, where she teaches a lively young French girl called Adele and falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester, after saving him from a fire one night. The person that set the fire is a mystery. Alongside the theme of feminism, Jane Eyre encompasses a Gothic nature; it is a complex novel but is 100% worth reading and I’m so excited to read more from the Bronte sisters.

6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Harry Potter

Everyone knows and loves Harry Potter. It is only in recent years that I have read this series; I didn’t grow up reading it so I’m a bit late to the party but I have grown to love it in my teenage years nonetheless. I am currently rereading the series by listening to Stephen Fry’s versions of the audiobooks and I am loving it! The world is all kinds of wonderful (and magical!) and always makes me feel like I’m coming home.

Let me know if you’d like me to keep posting bookish/lifestyle posts! xxxx

anonymous asked:

LOTTIE HELP! I am right smack dab in the middle of the worlds WORST reading slump. My Goodreads challenge is suffering, my bookshelf is dusty and half empty, I am in dire straights. I've already read The Raven Cycle, Six of Crows, and Captive Prince so if you have any other really captivating books that can help I would greatly appreciate it. (preferably LGBT+ & magical)

THAT IS TERRIBLE NEWS, reading slumps are the #1 worst thing in the wooorld after Writer’s Block. I truly feel for you and I will try my Utmost to help. step into my office. 

- CROOKED KINGDOM by LEIGH BARDUGO, i.e. SIX OF CROWS #2! good news, friend, the Six of Crows sequel/final book in the ~duology~ came out a couple of days ago! throw yourself into reading something you technically already read + loved and don’t have to expend any energy on Getting Into!

- VICIOUS by V. E. SCHWAB! I had suuuch a good time reading this book. it goes from 0 to 100 in the first chapter and never slows down again. if you want to hurl yourself back into reading something exhilarating and unputdownable then Vicious is the way to go. 

- THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET by NATASHA PULLEY! if you want to dip a toe in the sea of reading and slowly but surely immerse yourself (rather than being hurled headfirst into the deep end a la Vicious) then this is the book for you. historical magical realism with low key steampunk vibes, an idiosyncratic cast of characters and the sweetest, quietest little love story at its heart. so gorgeous. 

- WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by SHIRLEY JACKSON! I just finished reading this book and I couldn’t put it down. whimsical and utterly magical and so, so deliciously twisted. spent the whole book yelling FUCK ‘EM UP, MERRICAT and wishing I had a vegetable garden. 

- PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS (and all subsequent series) by RICK RIORDAN! if you want to pad out your Goodreads Challenge in a hurry then grab all 11 of these books from your library and go to town. they’re easy to read, as they’re generally found in the 9-12 section of Waterstone’s, but a) HILARIOUS, b) so, so enjoyable, and c) DIVERSE AS HELL! you’ll learn loads of shit about Greek mythology, laugh yourself silly, and fall in love with a billion amazing kids including Nico di Angelo, The Most Important Character In Children’s Literature™. 

- A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V. E. SCHWAB! parallel worlds, a disgruntled magical smuggler, bisexual royalty, a crossdressing lady thief turned privateer, the hottest dude in the world, and George III. literally what more could you ask for? 

To all the people who have no idea who All Time Low is.

Im sorry. Im sorry you never found 4 boys to cheer you up when you are down. Im sorry you’ve never sobbed to Therapy, Missing You or Lullabies for no reason. Im sorry you dont have an endless supply of dick jokes handy. Im sorry you never got to hear the lyrics to Missing You. That you never got the want to visit Thames street. Im sorry that you have no idea who Alex, Zack, Jack and Rian are as beautiful human beings and that you may never in this lifetime. Im sorry that on cd release day you arent freaking out about where they chart or buying extra cds. Im sorry that you’ve never been to a show they put on even when the world was crashing down. Sorry that you never ‘hit south Broadway in a matter of minutes’. That you never sat wondering what it was like 6 feet under the stars with All Time Low. Im sorry that you may never know how big a mistake running from lions was or how to survive a major label drowning. Im sorry that you never knew Remembering Sunday or that you knew how long a walk from the beach was. You wont ever get where the marshmallow fluff line is from or the inside jokes they used to throw at Rian. You will forever live in this world and never truly understand the irony of choking on a lifesaver or how someone can live somewhere in neverland. You will go on without a care Poppin your champagne and why the story at the bottom of the bottle wouldnt exist without the pen. You may forever think of holly as a girls name and not just part of a song title or an ex. You may never know of what the term skunk hair means. Im so sorry for you. Im sorry that everytime something has to give in life you dont relate it to the song. That youve never watched live videos of them just to sob or feel at home. That you’ve never belonged to such a solid, understanding, and beautiful fan group. That you never will get or even know the terms jalex, merricat or any other cross names. That you havent read the fan groups fanfiction. Im sorry that if one day you are walking on the street and you see 4 boys you may never know just how important they are to some girl sitting in her bedroom. Im sorry you wont ever see Jacks home alone face. Im sorry you wont get to see such talented people grow before you year after year. Im sorry that to you, All Time Low is nothing but to us its EVERYTHING!

anonymous asked:

Do you ever get people who think you shouldn't have or carry stuffed animals in public places as an adult? I take mine on planes with me or in situations where I am uncomfortable, as it is a big help to have a comfort object to hold/cuddle. But I find I get a lot of stares and comments. Is it just something to let go, or do you think it is wrong to do?

Honestly? Just let your worries go. Who cares what those people think?

If it makes you feel better, Merricat Bunny goes with me when I travel. (Clovis Devilbunny only travel if Pete and I are traveling together, because Clovis is too precious to our family.) Merricat is the Official Traveling Bunny, goes in my carry on bag, and sits on my lap during flights. No one has ever said anything bad or unkind to us, and flight attendants think Merricat is THE CUTEST.

anonymous asked:

As the unquestionable queen of goth culture, I was wondering if you could recommend some good gothic novels? I've depleted my personal library and need some good recommendations before my next trip to Waterstones

Awww, thank you for the wonderful compliment! (But honestly, I’m pretty sure Siouxsie is the queen. I’m just everyone’s wacky goth auntie.)

Gothic novels I’m particularly fond of, and should be relatively easy to find.:

  • We Have Always Lived In the Castle - Shirley Jackson (Merricat would you like some tea?)
  • The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter (Short stories, but essential reading!)
  • Dark Dance - Tanith Lee (The other two books of the Blood Opera trilogy - Personal Darkness and Darkness, I - are also good, but Dark Dance plays with a bunch of classic gothic lit tropes.)
  • Perfume - Patric Suskind
  • Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice (Stop rolling your eyes, this is absolutely full of gothic lit tropes.If you haven’t read it yet, WHY THE HELL NOT GO NOW READ IT JUST DO AS I SAY.)
  • Witch Hill - Marion Zimmer Bradley (Part of the 70s-80s wave of gothic novels, and whoo, racy!)
  • Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier (It’s a classic for a reason! But not everyone reads it!)
  • Black Light, Waking the Moon, or Mortal Love - Elizabeth Hand (Secret societies! Immortal muses! Witchcraft and feminist cults! They’re all a lot of fun.)
  • Flowers In The Attic - V.C. Andrews (This is classic, lurid, gothic trash. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth a look. Just be aware that it is firmly in the potboiler category.)
  • The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker -  Leanna Renee Hieber (A bit twee or saccharine in some places, but fun.)
  • Burnt Offerings - Robert Marasco. (What does the house want? The movie is great, too.)