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Monday, July 24, 2017

the way... - A Poem


The way the humid summer nights
Clings to your skin,
To your breath,
To your soul,
Capturing you and instilling magic
Held by millions of fireflies
Into your being.

The way waves lap the shore,
And the smooth rock slips from your hand,
Slapping the water,
Darting out to the deep,
Giving you hope for a new day,
Giving you love for this life.

The way bonfires snap in the dark,
Sending shadows and light across faces,
Displaying the truth behind eyes,
A light for secrets to be shared and kept
In the small glowing circle.

The way the night sky changes you,
Making you curious,
Making you calm,
Bringing out the excited child,
Bringing out the content adult,
Mixing all aspects of your being
Into the true version of you.

The way your friend laughs,
On a day when you don't feel 100%,
And brings joy back into your heart,
And reminds you there is good in this life.

The way mist forms on a cloudy morning,
Swirling and twisting,
A combination of dark and light,
That morphs you into a warrior,
A detective,
A hero,
And gives you a place to escape
A place to be you.

The way the wind whips your hair
As you ride down the highway,
Windows down,
Music blaring,
Friend beside you,
Dancing like the other cars aren't there,
Creating a world pure and good,
Even if it lasts for only a moment.

The way the silence in the middle of the night
Makes you hold your breath,
Like the whole world is sleeping,
Is healing,
And you don't want to wake it.

The way snow makes your heart jump,
Reminding you that hot cocoa is allowed
And that there is a mysterious world
That only appears once a year,
Ready for exploring.

The way neon signs flicker and buzz,
Dying while shining,
Morphing the world into something from a book,
Where time is altered,
Every person has a story,
A reason to be out in the dark,
A world where you are not fully you,
And that is okay.

The way wet pavement seems to glow
In the fading light of lampposts,
Turning the world into a movie,
A place where anything can happen,
Or nothing,
And both are welcome.

The way dark woods confuse you,
Dark shapes looming ominously,
Stars above twinkling joyously,
But the person with you makes everything seem good,
And calm,
And perfect.

The way the world impacts you,
Different places,
Different times,
Different amounts of light,
Different levels of heat,
Different people,
All finding ways to expose
And love
The true
Unapologetic
You.

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I was just feeling really nostalgic and happy and in love with the world and nature so I made a list of things that make me happy and trigger special feelings and responses and turned it into a poem. Hope you all like it!

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What are some things that you guys find special? I'd love to hear about them!

~Olivia Ann

Monday, July 17, 2017

why i didn't write a girl-meets-boy relationship between my two MCs

The two (of, honestly, many) main characters of my story, Mended and Torn, are Harper Sigyn Johanssen and Jace William Scott.

The pair meet at an earlier time, but the first true interaction farther than "hey that is human and i is also human hello human" is when the headmistress, Mrs. Stone, introduces them to each other. And their relationship kicks off from there.

Let me clarify: their non-romantic relationship kicks off from there.

In the beginning, they kinda hate each other. But Jace takes pride in Harper's accomplishments, encourages her, and the pair becomes friends. Family, even.

But they do not get romantically involved. I'm not saying there isn't a possibility for it to happen in future books, but this does not matter as I am currently talking about the first book.

There are many reasons I didn't write the typical girl-meets-boy relationship found in YA/NA novels.

First being,

[it's typical

We expect it. We expect the pretty, somewhat problematic main character to meet the stoic, handsome, somewhat mysterious other main character and fall in love.

I'm not saying it's bad or wrong, just... I'm getting a tad sick of it, so I wanted to separate my story. Besides, with these characters, the romance would seem forced, which leads me into the next reason:

[their non-emotional relationship

They're partners, and one of the first rules of spying/being a cop/having a work partner in any respect is DON'T GET ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED. It can be easy for this to happen, as people in high pressure, close-quarters, trust-each-other-with-everything situations often find that their partner is their best friend, and it is easy for relationships to grow from those types of relationships.

But with these two characters, their jobs are their lives, and they wouldn't even allow themselves to get close to each other. Hence...

[their personalities

They're teens, and yes, teens usually fall in "love" very easily, but these characters are not just teens. They're spies, and not only will their jobs hinder that, but their personalities take out the opportunity as well.

Harper's a hothead who (over)analyzes everything, doesn't trust people, is blunt and seemingly uncaring, and doesn't allow herself to get close to people because people leave and she has no power to stop it. If she has no power over it, she prefers to avoid it in order to save herself the scars.

Jace is silent, observant and logical, doesn't trust people easily but loves and cares for everyone even though he could never take care of everyone, and doesn't allow himself to get close to people because of his job. He could die or drop off the face of the earth any second, and he'd rather not put people through that. He has power over this, and decides to exercise it.

The fact that these two become as close as they are is a miracle, showing that they've made an exception to each other because they feel they can trust each other.

[the dynamic

The whole story would have a different feel. If they were dating, the bonding scenes would be replaced with kiss scenes.

Harper's relationship with other characters would be different because she has the one that comes before anyone else (aka... ugh, I hate this word... b... bae... I'm disgusted with myself). Her relationship with Jace wouldn't be as familial, where he would point out her mistakes with a joking insult and she'd respond with a quip but take it with a grain of salt, it'd be romantic, with nose kisses and sweet complements. And that's not how they work.

Jace wouldn't be as honest. He'd keep trivial things from her, but share things that should have remained secret. He'd be too sweet, and in being sweet he'd be less caring as he wouldn't point out the things she needs to fix. Their quips and jokes would spark more fights, and tbh son doesn't need any more stress.

The whole dynamic with the team would be off, as well. They couldn't hang out as friends, because Jess, Quinn, and Kaity (and I guess Sasha too) would be third, fourth, and fifth wheeling BIG TIME. And that would create awkwardness and tension that isn't needed nuh-uh nope no way momma ain't havin' none of that negativity.


And the last reason is purely for the readers:

[ships

I want the shipping to be relatively open, where people can wish things to be canon but not know yet (there will be canon ships though, guys, and I'm really, REALLY excited for one of them because honestly they're dears and just pure). I find it fun to see what people sense between characters, or what they wish was there. I find fanart and fanfics to be fun to look at and read (provided they're relatively appropriate because man can fanfic get really dirty really quick––its kinda scary, guys) and even if I don't read them, others who do ship that ship can enjoy them and that's what I want. Shipping is such a fun aspect of a fandom and I want my fandom to be open to ships too.

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So yeah. These are simply my thoughts, my reasons, and you may not care but I like explaining things. I hope it can maybe help others who want to break the mold but don't know if they should or just inspire others.

I would ask who you guys ship, but a majority of you haven't read it, so you wouldn't have ANY CLUE who the characters are. If you do know them, from either reading or other things I've said on Instagram or whatever, go ahead and comment! I'd love to see what y'all gotta say.

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How do y'all feel about love-at-first-sight romances? What's your favorite/least favorite type of relationship between characters (romantic or otherwise)? Tell me in the comments, let's talk about this!

~Olivia Ann

Monday, July 10, 2017

blossom of ash by kennedy vega

DISCLAIMER: This is a completely un-solicited review and book talk, all comments are honest. In other words, #notspon but I love it so I'm talking about it.

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This is a short story by Kennedy Vega (I know her as @januaryrabbit on Instagram), and it is a Hades and Persephone retelling. Her plans are to have it out by the end of the summer, however she is debating on turning it into a full-length-novel.

Image result for blossom of ash cover wattpad

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Persephone is a beauty born with a curled foot, making her the family's least treasured posession and maid. When her younger sister, Anathema, is born with a blood disease destined to end her life before three years of age, Persephone's parents make a bargain with Hades, promising that if he pushes her death farther out (into old age), they'll give him Persephone when she turns 18. But, there's a catch. Persephone must choose to willingly go with Hades––if she refuses, he will bring back Anathema's blood disease and she will die.

Persephone grows up knowing nothing of the deal, only scrubbing the floors, cleaning up after Anathema, and tending to her flower stall.

A handsome stranger finds joy in her flowers, and they begin to be friends of a sort. But this one person may cause Persephone to stay on earth, rejecting Hades and bringing back her sister's disease.

~•~



Right off the bat, I'm going to say that this is one of the best retellings I've ever read, definitely the best Hades and Persephone retelling I've ever read. It flowed so perfectly, the characters were compelling, and the plot was captivating.

One aspect that I think can kill retellings at the start is the plot. If it's a retelling, the plot is pretty much already known, and that can take away the surprise (or enjoyment, or sometimes both). That doesn't happen here. The story has the fundamental aspects of the Hades and Persephone story, but it still catches you off guard. I squealed at parts, I raced through others because I was worried for the characters, and others I just sat there with a content smile. The twist Vega added to the story made it impossibly captivating and enjoyable.

The characters are compelling as well. Persephone has a bit of a Cinderella vibe with her family's hatred of her, but it's twisted and changed so that when you look at it you don't go "she was based on Cinderella," you go "this is Persephone, a girl who was born with a disability that makes people think she is cursed, a girl who loves flowers more than life, and who could relate to Cinderella because of family matters." She loves flowers, is strong (and not the hot-but-also-kills-people type of strong that seems to be going around in novels nowadays, she stands up to jerks messing with her and when the handsome stranger is like "do you want help" she's like "nah I got it"), and is genuinely a good person. She would make Megara proud.

Image result for megara clapping gif

Hades... my boi.

Hades was written SO BEAUTIFULLY. And not just literally (although he is very pretty). Instead of making him look like the vengeful god of death that media makes him out to be, Vega focused on his benevolence that is displayed in the myths. Take Disney's Hercules. There, Hades is sassy but also angry and "I will kill everyone muahaha."
Image result for funny hades gif



Vega made Hades more like the myths. The son of Olympus who drew the short straw and got sent to look after the dead people, constantly just done by his brother's sleeping around, and really just wanting to find companionship so they can watch his family screw up together. In the story, Hades says "... upon Persephone's eighteenth birthday, she must choose whether or not to come with me and offer up her life for her sister's. [...] Persephone must make the choice of her own free will." He could be given a companion, a wife, like that. But he choses to alter the bargain so that the piece being bargained over is recognized as a human, not just a bargaining chip, and that she is given a choice in the matter.

AHHH that just makes me so happy.

The relationships between the characters are so beautifully written and the world is gorgeous. I can't wait for the full, polished, gorgeous version.

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That's all I'm going to say for now. When it is published (as a short story or as a novel) I will do a full book-talk/book-review with spoilers.

Happy reading and writing!

~Olivia Ann