Books, Coffee Musings and Kitty Pouts

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My Catwoman pout FAIL but I’m still a crazy cat woman with my ‘too cool for school’ coffee mug.

My day was completely book crazy! I’m sitting amongst a heap of books I must (in my over-achiever sort of way) get through for my master’s dissertation. We’ve got Freud, Lacan, Kristeva and some exciting literary exploration with Louise Rosenblatt this week. If you had to meet me in real life, you’d probably think I stepped out of a cartoon- that’s how excited I get when talking about my thesis. #majornerd

However, somewhere between the delish sips of coffee in my crazy cool black cat coffee mug (I mean serioso how CUTE is it!?) and meandering through my local bookstore, I decided I needed to make time for some recreational reading as well. Yoga has been helping me immensely in the de-stressing department but I love getting lost in bookish worlds…it’s the greatest way for me to unwind. So today I started reading…

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Post-Easter bunny coffee art by So Whipped Coffeeshop, Durban.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. I hadn’t heard anything much about this novel to be honest…it just sorta fell off the shelf and stared at me, so I said okie doke I’ll take you home little book. Yes, I speak to books. Don’t judge me. I’ve only read a few pages so far but I’m already interested to see where this tale takes me. The male character seems familiarly cynical and it’s set in dreary England. According to the interweb, it’s steampunk, historical, witty…yes yes you’ve spun your webs, I shall read you till the very last page. Despite the fact that I have a thesis deadline looming this week. Must keep sanity intact. I’ll keep you guys updated on whether the book is a hit or miss with Of Tales & Dreams.

In other news, I was excited to befriend April Mullen on Instagram. She’s a Canadian director that has filmed a few episodes of one of my FAVORITE SHOWS EVER –Killjoys. And she recently gave us a sneak peek of the filming for Season 3. Check out our girl Dutch on the instavid here : April Mullen

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I don’t think I have the proper words in English (or any of the languages I speak including Meow) to tell you how excited I am for Killjoys Season 3! Anyhoo, I should get back to my thesis and how I plan on saving the world through Neil Gaiman texts 😉

Stay inspired…lock and serve your warrants Killjoys-style and remember to look out for the small things in life. And do let me know what you are reading!

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Via heartfeltquotes blog.

Spreading the Gaiman Love and Creating Deep Friendships Through Words.

My weird obsession with Neil Gaiman became public knowledge ever since I started this blog in 2016. I’m currently on a major ‘life cleanse’ but had to share this post today. One of my first followers, who would soon become a very special burst of stardust to me, was RHAPSODYBOHÈME . I truly feel that some friendships have been pre-carved somewhere out there in space, waiting for you to find each other. Her blog is truly inspirational and her deep love of nature reminds me that warrior women of the earth still exist. On my worst days, I look at the photographs she shares and it fuels the dreams I’ve set for myself in the past two years. It reminds me that however beautiful my present may be, my future is going to be dazzling with more magic and beauty. She often has to read my posts about Neil Gaiman (NOT Neil Diamond,lol) and so she decided to take a chance with one of my book recommendations, The Graveyard Book. I am honored that she has done so and hope she discovers something of herself in the pages of one of my most cherished book favorites. Reading is bewitching and beguiling. And to share that gift with special people…that is irreplaceable. Please read her blog…follow her, comment…she’s used to people like me being creepy, so she really won’t mind! 🙂

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Original art by RHAPSODYBOHÈME

I heard that reading is to the brain what exercise is to the body. Well, if that is truly the case, then I have exercised my brain for a long time indeed. Just in case I haven’t mentioned it already, it’s no secret that I love books and I developed a passion early on for […]

via Who….Neil Diamond — RhapsodyBohème

Girl Reading art via Pinterest.

Open Your Eyes

The theme for today is ‘sight’. What does it mean to ‘see’? Is it to look? To observe? To notice? To understand?

What do you see when you look around you? The glimmer of a twist of fate? The emptiness of existence? The choice of perception is in your eyes. But there are eyes deep within yourself that need to be opened. So…open them.

“My arm was around her and she was leaning back against me, and we were quite calm. She was looking into my eyes with that way she had of looking that made you wonder whether she really saw out of her own eyes. They would look on and on after every one else’s eyes in the world would have stopped looking. She looked as though there were nothing on earth she would not look at like that, and really she was afraid of so many things…”  Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

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“Good morning, it’s time for you to wake up.” Sofia, Vanilla Sky (alternate ending)

 

All images via Rebloggy.

Neil Gaiman : A Love Affair of the Imagination

“Name the different kinds of people,’ said Miss Lupescu. ‘Now.’

Bod thought for a moment. ‘The living,’ he said. ‘Er. The dead.’ He stopped. Then, ‘… Cats?’ he offered, uncertainly.”
― The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

It’s no big secret that I’m thoroughly mesmerized by all things Gaiman. I think I’ve made it pretty clear in many of my blog posts. I’m fascinated. I’m intrigued. I definitely have a major fan-girl crush going on there too…but let’s NOT be creepy for once. 😉

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The other day, in one of my tutorial classes that I teach, a student genuinely showed concern as to why someone as “fun” and “smart” (their quotes) as moi is single and seemingly fine with that. But how do I explain to people that my imagination craves something more? That my creative side won’t allow me to settle for the first strapping, young gentleman that dares to venture through the thicket of thorns and awaken the sleeping princess. Honestly, I’d probably wake only to send a few curses his way about disturbing the excitement and enchantment of  my adventures in Dreamland. You see how human interaction (with me), dating or non-dating is a complete FAIL?

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Cue Neil Gaiman. A most bizarre hero (and reason for my slackening attention span in most males) that pawed his way into my head and heart a couple years ago. I’ve honestly never been the same since. Reading Gaiman is like finding portals appearing in my reality. Portals to my inner Wonderland. If he wasn’t already married, I think I’d be plotting adult-napping so that I could keep him in my personal library and have stories fed to me everyday.  Of course I’d keep him well supplied with tea (I’m not culturally inappropriate after all) and have an endless supply of mythical stories of my own to keep him from getting bored. These are things that I honestly contemplate in my day. So you see how impossible it would be to answer my students’ questions without coming across as a recent escapee from a mental ward. There is no substitute once your creative buttons have been pressed.

Oh, did I mention Neil Gaiman loves cats? You had me at meow.

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Via The Cultural Cat Blog

I thought I’d write a post, not to make my craziness known, but to expand on the deep love that Gaiman fans experience. There seems to be a mad rush to read and re-read American Gods before the television series starts painting out visuals to the original words. People tend to refer to Neil Gaiman as the ‘rock star’ of current writers, others call his following ‘cult-like’. Some are in agreement about his unmistakable contribution to literature, others are perplexed by the worth of his writing. To the second group, I can only say it’s a case of unraveling your unconscious. Gaiman gives readers one of those lovers’ boat rides that you find at fun fairs or theme parks. As you hold your lover’s hand and your boat moves across the gentle waters, entering the cave, you’re suddenly aware of something more than the fluttering of your innocent heart. There’s something lurking…at the corners of the boat…in the water…inside you. And that is what Gaiman does to people that respond to his words. He lifts veils to the Other Side. He punctures any sense of psychological resistance one may have towards all those creepy, crawly things sitting hunched over his stories. Sitting hunched deep inside you.

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Via Neil Gaiman tumblr

My Master’s thesis attempts to psychoanalytically analyse Gaiman’s Children’s Gothic Literature (Coraline, The Graveyard Book). So I get to spend my days swooning over Gaiman books at coffee-shops while gaining deep psychological insight into the human inclination to positively respond to his writing. I’m finding a pattern between Gaiman’s texts and creative impulses…but that’s another blog post for another day.

You can leave the lovers’ cave in one piece, slightly annoyed at the perception of being invaded…or, you can leave fragmented and glued together with bits of magic, in the knowledge that glitter will be falling off you every step hereafter. He imprints on his beloved readers. He offers them everything they’ve ever silently wished for but could never find in the physical plane. He’s a psychical mastermind. A dream-catcher of words that leaves the reading encounter littered with fairy dust and monster droppings.

I dare you to tread a path into his world and not find something that jars you a little. Something familiar. Something unfamiliar. Something you’ve always quite never unknown. Or have you? 😉

Weekend Book Recommendation: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

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For writing advice from the man himself, visit his website www.neilgaiman.com.  When I finally do pursue my PhD in the Land of Dreams (his current abode), you can rest assured there’ll be plenty of Gaiman posts in my search to get my favorite copy of Coraline signed. That and plenty of open-mouthed gawking.

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Sunday Reading with Poe and the Strangely Hypnotizing Illustrations of Abigail Larson.

 

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All featured illustrations by Abigail Larson. Click to view more or buy.

It’s a rainy Sunday evening and I’m taking a pleasurable breather – before the madness of the week ensues- dipping my mind into Poe’s infamous short story Ligeia (1838). My curiosity was piqued whilst reading a chapter on Poe in D.H. Lawrence’s Studies in Classic American Literature (1923) in which he tries to unravel the ‘American soul’ and expose its consciousness through selected writers. All the Poe-esque Romantic Gothic elements are there…and whatever could be wrong with a beautiful woman showing a man ‘forbidden’ wisdom and metaphysical secrets to the universe? Because that always ends well.

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" Of all the women whom I have ever known, she, the
outwardly calm, the ever-placid Ligeia, was the most violently a prey
to the tumultuous vultures of stern passion. And of such passion I
could form no estimate, save by the miraculous expansion of those
eyes which at once so delighted and appalled me - by the almost
magical melody, modulation, distinctness and placidity of her very
low voice - and by the fierce energy (rendered doubly effective by
contrast with her manner of utterance) of the wild words which she
habitually uttered. " Ligeia, Edgar Allan Poe

 

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" That she loved me I should not have doubted; and I might have been
easily aware that, in a bosom such as hers, love would have reigned
no ordinary passion. But in death only, was I fully impressed with
the strength of her affection. For long hours, detaining my hand,
would she pour out before me the overflowing of a heart whose more
than passionate devotion amounted to idolatry. How had I deserved to
be so blessed by such confessions?  How had I deserved to be so
cursed..." Ligeia, Edgar Allan Poe

 

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Poe has a unique way of enticing and enthralling his readers. Those of us more Gothic-prone tend to surrender, without a fight, into the arms of his words where beautiful women and witchy things trap our souls. I find the short story form more appealing than the typical novel form. Open Culture’s 7 Tips from Edgar Allan Poe on How to Write Vivid Stories and Poems has this little piece of advice for budding writers out there :

Keep it short—the “single sitting” rule. Poe contends that “if any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with the immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression.” Force the reader to take a break, and “the affairs of the world interfere” and break the spell.

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Happy Sunday reading! (I’m pretty sure an owl just hoo-hooed outside my bedroom window in deep reciprocation…at least it wasn’t a raven.) 😉

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Recommended song choice to your Poe reading :

Music video by Muse , Unintended via Muse YouTube.

Holding out for Life, Love and Sci-Fi Poems.

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Art via Pinterest.

Is there life out there? Is there love out there? Is there anything…out there.In here. Every now and then I stumble across a real gem in my insatiable book-thirst. This one is a science fiction poem called Aniara (1956) written by Swedish Nobel laureate, Harry Martinson.

"But here where we were fated to the course 
dictated by the law of conic section,
here her breakthrough never could become
in any manner fruitful, just a theorem
which Isagel superbly formulated
but which was doomed to join us going out
ever farther to the Lyre and then to vanish.

And as we sat there speaking with each other
about the possibilities that now stood open
if only we weren't sitting here in space
like captives to the void in which we fell,
we both grew sorrowful but kept as well
the joy in pure ideas, the kind of pleasure
which together we could share in quiet
for the time still left to our existence. "  Aniara excerpt, Harry Martinson

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Image via Goodreads.

I couldn’t find a Kindle copy in English, but it is available to read online via Scribd. What did we do before the glory of the cyber world??? Recommended with a delicious cup of coffee, ocean views (if you’re lucky enough, like me, to have that luxury!) and this song on my current playlist :

Music video ‘Holding on For Life’ by Broken Bells via brokenbellsVEVO on YouTube.