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.

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.

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

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? 

Rules: List ten of your favorite characters, from any medium such as literature, movies, television, etc. Then tag ten people.

Tagged by @eternallovezeki

Not really in order (I’m not even sure if this is a true top 10. I may have forgotten some)

1. Zero (vampire knight)

2. Merricat (we have always lived in the castle)

3. Enid (ghost world)

4. Luna Lovegood (harry potter)

5. Cassandra (I capture the castle)

6. the narrator from The Seas by Samantha Hunt -  I don’t think her name was ever mentioned in the book

7. Momoko (Kamikaze Girls)

8. The entire Gangsey (The Raven Cycle) I don’t feel right picking between them and it would take up most of the list to list them separately - sorry I know this is cheating so maybe i’d choose ronan if I really had to… but the others are just so good too!!

9. The Doctor (doctor who) if we’re being specific, I like eleven best :3

10. Lorelai Gilmore - both of them (Gilmore girls) now I want to put luke on my list too!!!

thinking of 10 people to tag is harder than thinking of 10 characters (or narrowing down to 10 really). sorry i’m going to leave it.

Thanks for tagging me  @eternallovezeki

Relationship Status: single/not interested
Favourite Colour: I think it’s been yellow lately
Lipstick or Chap-stick: chapstick (cherry flavour) is what I use most but I like lipstick too
Last Song You Listened To: Do you love me? by nick cave and the bad seeds
Last Movie You Watched: kingsglaive… I don’t remember the full title but it’s that ffxv one…
Top 3 Characters: Zero Kiryuu… i seriously don’t know who else i’m as dedicated to as zero. i don’t know how to do a top 3. merricat blackwood may be my favourite when i’m not in vk mode
Top 3 Ships: Zeki (vampire knight), Pynch (the raven cycle) and Bubbline (adventure time - and i just like looking at cute bubbline fanart really… i couldn’t think of anyone else to ship)
Book You’re Currently Reading: I was reading path of fate by Diana Phararoh Francis but i got distracted halfway through and picked up VK again
Top 5 Musicals: God Help the Girl is one of my favourite films full stop. i mean, when a songwriter from one of your fave bands writes a musical, what’s not to like? otherwise, i don’t watch many musicals so for the rest - moulin rouge, phantom of the opera….. that’s it i think?

i’m sorry idk who to tag again… so useless at this but please join in if you want

We have always lived in the castle by Shirley Jackson
Rating : 4.9/5 Stars
This book was amazing. The plot was gripping from beginning and need, and I couldn’t tear myself away from its pages. Merricat was such compelling character, with her childlike attitude, strange ways and stubbornness. And the strange, but happy ending wasn’t at all what I was expected, but fitted perfectly in tune with the he rest. I really can’t wait to read more of Shirley Jacksons works, because this was just perfect. 

(Now that I’m home and not on mobile, I can answer some questions people asked on various photos!)

malevolentsnow said: That head piece is amazing! Was it ordered or home made?!

I made it! Now that I’ve figured out the tricks to making floral headpieces (fine-gauge wire and a glue gun), I want to make more. I NEED MORE ELABORATE THINGS TO PUT ON MY HEAD. And possibly spray with glitter, because. Just because.

vinceaddams said: How many of your stuffed animals have fangs?

Of the bunnies: Clovis, Morevis and Drevis (Clovis’ clones), Ravensbane, Jarvis, Harrison, Basil, and Merricat. (I just counted, and there are 13 other bunnies in the house. The Evil Bunny Alliance is ever-growing.) 

Of the bears: only Poohsbury and Basil. (There are eight other bears, including Gunderson and Murphy, the two oldest of my fuzzy companions.)

batsonthebrain said: No coffee goblins or an Igor standing by with a cafetière?

Goblins are awful to travel with - even if you have top-notch goblin wrangling skills, even if you resort to putting them all on leashes like a pack of over-enthusiastic puppies, they still go bonkers. Plus, you do not want to trust them with making coffee if you are at all … particular about your coffee, and by particular I mean don’t want your coffee made with actual ground as in dirt from a nearby planter. 

The Igor Union is still debating whether providing me with coffee is in the scope of their duties. Apparently they think that incoherent mumbling and beseeching looks while waving a coffee mug around aren’t clear enough instructions for what they need to do? Whatever. They’re wrong.

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.)
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!