pages of an open book

What is a story you have been dying to tell?

When I was 15 years old, I ran away from home because I was pissed off at my parents for a reason I cant remember. I didnt have much money, so I decided to hop onto the skytrain(public transport train in British Columbia) and ride it as far as it would go. I reached the end of the line in less then an hour, and decided I wanted to ride it all the way back again, while trying to formulate some kind of plan of how I wanted to live the rest of my life without my parents or anyone. At the last stop, or the first stop depending on your perspective of it, a girl came on and sat in the row right behind me. I didnt pay much attention to her at first, as I was busy writing my life plan on a napkin. It was a few minutes later that she got up and came sat next to me, curious as to what I was writing. I told her the story, and after a few laughs, we began talking about everything and anything. Her name was Amanda, 17 years old, and absolutely wonderful. She told me she was getting off at the last stop, which was also the first stop, depending on how you look at it. It was also the stop I had gotten on originally, and I told her we would ride to it together. The train ride took less then an hour, and what a wonderful hour indeed.

When the last stop did come, we both knew we probably wouldnt see each other ever again(this was before the days of cellphones, and I was a shy little kid afraid to make moves). As we got to the end of the sidewalk which split in two different directions, she went right and I went left. Before saying goodbye she turned to me and asked me a question that has become a wonderful part of my life; she asked me, “Tell me something you have done, or want to do, that you think I should do? It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy. As long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it, I promise I will do it..” I was confused as to why, but I thought about it, and told her, “Sing a song acapella in a room full of strangers.” She said perfect and asked me if I would like a challenge as well. I told her I did, and she told me, “read, from start to finish, “Ulysses” by James Joyce.” I had never heard of it at the time, but I agreed, and we said our goodbyes.

I have a awful memory, and cant remember most conversations I have with most people. But I remember all of that clearly. You know why? Because of the challenge she gave me. In the 12 years that have past since, I have tried to read that book in over 150 different sittings. Everytime I open my copy of the 780 page monster of a book, I always think of her, and I always think of that day. Ive never been sure if it was her intent or not, but she left her lasting memory on me with that challenge. I soon after learned what she did, was a completey wonderful and amazing thing for me. So I decided to keep it going. Ive met a lot of strangers in my life; some that have become friends, and some, due to living in different time zones and whatnot, didnt. I dont want to just have experiences and then let them go. I want to remember these meetings, and embrace the fact that they happened. So whenever I leave someone who has left an amazing impact of my life, I always make sure to add them to my Ulysses Bucket List. I ask them to give me a challenge, as difficult or as easy as they want it to be, and regardless of the fact that they have done it or not; simply something their heart has had wanted to do.

Some have been easy and fun; I met a man in India 9 years ago who told me to, for a week or a month, cook/buy twice as much food as I intend on eating, and give the other half to a stranger in need. I completed that mission 8 years ago, and thought about that man and the time we had all the way through. I met a girl on a cruise 6 years ago, who told me to jump into a body of water on a slightly cold day, without touching or feeling the temperature of the water first. I did that the very same year. I met a couple at an outdoor music festival a few years ago that told me to wear the most bizarre outfit imaginable and walk through a public place, completely oblivious to the fact that you arent looking normal. I did that task the very next day, at the same festival. Some have been difficult, to say the least: three guys I met in Amsterdam and smoked all night with, told me to go to a mall and give 10 strangers 10 presents. That one took a lot of courage, but I did it a year or so after I met them. It was nerve racking, but at the same time exhilerating leaving my comfort zone. A girl I met on a plane told me to sky dive; Im still in the process of getting that done. A couple I met in Cali on the beach told me to tell the 5 people I hated the most, that I love them and respect them. That one was very difficult because of my stubborness, but ive come close to completing that list many a times(still in the process, 2 more people to go).

And some things, have had an everlasting impact on my daily life. I met a girl at a music festival, who told me that whenever I get mad at someone, walk away, sing my happy song in my head for 5 minutes, go back to the person im mad at with a clam heart and mind, and work things out. Ive made this my way of life. I once met a man at a gym in a hotel I was staying at, that told me “whenever your body and brain tells your that you are exhausted and done…use your heart instead and push out 2 more reps.” Ive made this my motto when working out or working on any kind of extrenuating exercise in which my body demands me to quit. I also use it while working on anything, and while studying. One of the best pieces of advice ive ever received.

There are many others that each brought joy to my life. There are still many tasks I have yet to accomplish, and everytime I think of these tasks, I think of the people that gave them to me. It amazes me how well I remember all these people, while I cant remember so many aspects of even yesterday. These experiences, not only do I take from them a “mission” or a “challenge”, I also take from them a memory of them that never fails to appear inside of my mind. I opened my Ulysses book for probably the 300th time yesterday, and read a few pages, which prompted me to share this story with you today. Im in the final 30 pages of the book, also known as the most dreaded of the read(in the last 40 pages or so, James Joyce doesnt use a single punctuation mark; no periods, no commas, no nothing; a straight 50 page run-on sentence).

I never saw Amanda after that day, nor do I know if she ever did get a chance to sing a song to a room full of strangers. But what I do know, is that she gave me a gift that has never once stopped giving. So wherever you may be, thank you for giving me the Ulysses Bucket List. And I swear i’ll finish it one day. My life advice? Simple: Create your own Ulysses bucket list.

The Vibe I Get From The Signs

aries: try hard and badass. wants people to like them and think of them but deep down all they need is themselves. very outspoken and controversial. they don’t go with the flow, they dig their toes into the rocky sand and walk against the current. they’re the person in class who is always on edge, waiting for something to happen and jump in and save everyone. they thirst for adventure and never settle for less than terrifying. the feeling of security and excitement follows them, they never stay still and never stop for anyone. they make you feel as if you’re running through a forest with only a flash light to guide you in the dark, like fear and adrenaline are their drug of choice with you.

taurus: laid back, always calm. the quiet kid in class who has mad jokes and can roast everyone in seconds. they never try to make anything uncomfortable, but they’ll talk with you about anything if you bring it up. they’re an open book but their pages don’t turn themselves. a feeling of sheer joy and calmness. when you’re with them the world feels simpler, like all complications faded away and color has returned for good.

gemini: sarcastic beyond belief. very reserved but outgoing. naturally mean sometimes when they don’t try to be, they have trouble thinking of others feelings when it comes to certain topics. always want what’s best for you even when that may not be something you want, but they always know the right path and never wander too far from it. a feeling of desire to stay in their presence is always there. a cool autumn night and you’re sitting next to a speeding train, unafraid and ready.

cancer: smart, not afraid to be themselves. give off the feeling of a rebellious school kid that the teachers love but no one knows why. always know how to make you smile even when you’re at your worst. doesn’t seek trouble but somehow it finds them. they always find a way to keep a cool head and strategically problem solve. the feeling they give is a cool breeze, never too harsh and never too rough. they feel like when you dig your feet into the sand while water slowly pours in, pulling you in calmly.

leo: very outwardly, not afraid of anyone or anything. that person who always entertains you even when you’re not communicating. very extroverted but is really introverted when they’re not around people they know. loves to take care of people when they need to take care of themselves first. they wrap a warm feeling around you and make sure you feel safe always. they feel like the steepest roller coaster ride, that feeling that hits when you’re about to drop, then the pleasure and joy that comes when you fall.

virgo: ahead of the game. always seems to be two steps ahead, goes over all the possible things you could say and calculated their response. try’s to not be a know-it-all but can’t help it. give off the feeling of assurance. they do their best and are very hard on themselves, but they can also be unforgiving. the feeling you get when you get a question right in math class and you can’t help but smile. imagine sitting under a great oak, taking in the spring air, the feeling of the breeze hugging you and brushing through your hair.

libra: beautiful and unique. the kid who’s in theatre and puts everything they have into the performance. makes the dirtiest jokes and turns everything into sexual innuendos. they make you feel whole and happy inside, like everything is good in the world. they always seem busy, maybe come off as superficial because of their busy ways. but if it’s important enough to them, they will make time even if they have to stop the earth from turning. they love hard and they break easy, but their recovery is quick and they always bounce back. you feel like you’re on an island with them, watching the waves gush in and roll away.

scorpio: secretive. very dark-humor but very sweet. they’re like a fishing line and you’re the fish, you get stuck on them and they feel you in and you’re caught. the way they talk makes it seem like they have a dark past and chests full of secrets. they feel like the riptide in the ocean but more gentle, they care too much and they get hurt a lot because of that. you feel safe yet always on edge with them, like a storm is coming but you’re in the eye, safe from it all.

sagittarius: risk-taker. loves new challenges but hates heart break. always somehow leave you stunned and intrigued. they love confrontation and love the quiet. think of the kid in class that sasses the teacher but gets away with it. wear their heart on their sleeve and gets dangerous when people play with it. they set an earthy tone, like a ferris wheel ride and you’re stuck at the top admiring the city lights.

capricorn: emotionless when threatened. complicated but beautiful. they never live a dull moment and always grab life by the horns. aren’t afraid of judgement but still hate being judged. a calm sea wraps them up, smooth and strong, but also wicked and rough. they don’t like being told no or that things they do are wrong. they take care of their friends and love endlessly. like curling up in a wool blanket on a wicked winter night, the snow tapping at the windows and the weight and comfort of them keeping you safe.

aquarius: unpredictable. always has the right words and never will hide their true colors. will be mean as hell or as sweet as sugar, depending on the people they involve themselves with. loves to be loved. like the cute kid in class who can do anything and it’d be considered art. very creative and very influential. they vibe with almost everything and anyone, they understand deep emotions and always question the universe. the feeling of insecureness comes with being around them, but only because their speak is so beautiful and sophisticated you feel behind somehow. always reassure you that you’re perfect the way you are. like a stormy day, dark thunder clouds and dime-sized rain drops, electrifying but alluring.

pisces: likable and kind. kind of quiet but has a loud mind. has a deep need to be loved and can get very emotional when hurt. they absolutely hate feeling useless and are always asking to help. they make use out of everything they see and are very inventive. no matter what the problem is, they find a solution. sometimes get taken for granted, but never do the same to others. think of the kid in class who is just like everyone else, so it seems, until you see them when no one is watching, how collected they are, how eager to help. they are lured in by kindness and give all they have. they feel like a hot and humid summer day while you dive into a cool pool of water and your worries and issues seem to slip off into the blue and disappear.

~10 Kinds Of Magical Books~

1. Book Of Shadows- A witch’s book of spells, rituals, personal feelings, etc. It is a general book for any metaphysical or religious information that you wish to put into it, among other things.

2.Bestiary- A sometimes hand-written encyclopedia or manual of mythological and magical creatures and beings, used for reference when you want to work with a non-human energy, or for general research. 

3.Grimoire- Usually filled with tables and charts, lists relating to astrological, numerical, and color correspondences; properties of crystals, herbs, trees, etc. Contains moon phase meanings and medicinal properties of plants- This one has an old-timey textbook feel to it, usually.

4.Book Of Mirrors- a special journal, where you ‘reflect’ on things going on in your day to day life, providing deep insights which are invaluable when you’re doing work regarding personal growth. Very helpful with developing personal spiritual philosophies.

5.Book Of Moons- A book entirely relating to the moon and it’s cycles, names of the moons of each month, their attributes and energies, dates of lunar eclipses as well as full moon dates of upcoming moons. Filled with vast knowledge of lunar attributes and special dates of red moons, blue moons, etc.

6.Dream Journal- Here you record the dreams you have in as much detail as you can remember, and some people draw images from their dream adventures in this book as well, since dreams use the language of symbolism and imagery. You interpret the meanings of your dreams in here too, if you wish. Dreams can help us get a glimpse into our subconscious and the more dreams you write the easier it becomes for you to remember them.

7. Book of Visions- A vision book is used with the law of attraction, it is a ‘vision board’ in book form. Put different images of things you want in life, be they experiences, physical items, money, health, etc, in the pages of the book. Open the book up to pictures of what you want to visualize having. Think of this as an on-the-go vision board, except with much more space as there are so many pages!

8.Book Of Positive Aspects- At the top of each page you write the name of a topic that you are unhappy with, like ‘the workplace’  for example. Below the topic title you begin listing all the positive aspects of the subject, and by the end of your list your emotions will be in a much better place regarding the topic. You can do a list a day or many in one sitting, it is a valuable tool for cultivating positive energy or for switching viewpoints on things that normally would upset you.

9.Gratitude Journal- A book where you write about EVERYTHING you are thankful and appreciative for in your life right now. You feel overwhelmed with love and positivity when writing in this book, which aids you in raising your vibration and frequency.

10. Book Of Intuitions- a psychic journal, it’s a book where all divination and psychic exercises are recorded, ranging from full tarot spreads, to tea leaf readings, even psychic impressions you pick up off people. It’s handy for tracking progress as well as for record keeping.

How to Make Your Descriptions Less Boring

We’ve all been warned about the dangers of using too much description. Readers don’t want to read three paragraphs about a sunset, we’re told. Description slows down a story; it’s boring and self-indulgent. You should keep your description as short and simple as possible. For those who take a more scientific approach to writing fiction, arbitrary rules abound: One sentence per paragraph. One paragraph per page. And, for god’s sake, “Never open a book with weather” (Elmore Leonard).

But what this conventional wedding wisdom fails to take into account is the difference between static and dynamic description. Static description is usually boring. It exists almost like a painted backdrop to a play. As the name suggests, it doesn’t move, doesn’t interact or get interacted with.

There were clouds in the sky.
Her hair was red with hints of orange.
The house had brown carpeting and yellow countertops.

In moderation, there’s nothing wrong with static description. Sometimes, facts are facts, and you need to communicate them to the reader in a straightforward manner.

But too much static description, and readers will start to skim forward. They don’t want to read about what the house looks like or the stormy weather or the hair color of each of your protagonist’s seventeen cousins.

Why? Because they can tell it’s not important. They can afford to skip all of your description because their understanding of the story will not be impacted.

That’s where dynamic description comes in. Dynamic description is a living entity. It’s interactive, it’s relevant. It takes on the voices of your narrators and characters. In short, it gives us important information about the story, and it can’t be skimmed over.

So how do you make your description more dynamic so that it engages your readers and adds color and excitement to your story? Here are a few tips.

(I have a TON more tips about setting and description. These are just a few. But I’m trying to keep this short, so if you have any questions or want more advice about this, please feel free to ask me.)

Keep reading

Jack Sparrow is our inner bookworm

Exhibit A:
When you finish a book and don’t know whether to hug it or throw it across the room. 

Originally posted by mkaminska93

Exhibit B:
When you spend the whole night reading a book

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Exhibit C:
When people ask if you can do anything other than fangirl and you say you can do this:

Originally posted by on-the-sunny-side-of-our-street

Exhibit D:
When writers keep separating your OTP

Originally posted by 221bornot221b-thatisthequestion

Exhibit E:
When the author is writing the next book in the series

Originally posted by heydollface143

Exhibit F:
When you open the first page of the book you’ve been waiting for and you know it’s gonna kill you in the most pleasurable ways:

Originally posted by harleysworldofmadness

Exhibit G:
When you see a bookstore and start “walking” toward it with your friends, family, etc running after you trying to catch you before yet again you’re lost to the land of fiction:

Originally posted by selkett

Exhibit H:
When your favorite character dies:

Originally posted by rainbowlickingunicorns

And so on and on…

7

I made an X-Files picture book to give myself closure after watching the show for the first time.  Then they officially announced the revival. I should have known there would be no escape from all the feelings.

Houses Book Aesthetics

Gryffindor- Cracking a spine open for the first time, and dog earrings your favourite pages.

Slytherin- Falling asleep with a book open on your chest, and hugging it closely.

Ravenclaw- Taking notes, but halfway through forgetting because the book is just too damn good.

Hufflepuff- Rereading a loved book, and taking in its familiar smell.

nice sounds to hear

- the crisp click! of a typewriter

- the turning of book pages

- the laughter of a friend

- the opening beat to your favourite song

- the sound of your pet’s paws on the floor as they run to you

- trees swaying gently in the wind

- ur cute friend playing a cute song on a ukelele

- rain on the window

- rain on the roof

- rain on your umbrella

- rain when you’re lying in it

- rain, always

- a familiar voice

- a cat’s purring