Friday, 28 September 2012

Modern 'Paranormal Romances' and why they lost their sparkle.

In my opinion, reading a book should be a magical experience; a journey into someone else's world that's full of unexpected twists and turns. Something that you just can't put down. This magic is lost when every new book to hit the 'Young Adult' market is exactly the same: Naive girl inadvertently falls in love with a mysterious guy who turns out to be a Vampire/Werewolf/Fairy/Zombie/Angel/Shade/Cyclops/Magical Sparkly Unicorn. I'm completely sick of it!

Don't get me wrong, when I first discovered Twilight (I think New Moon had just come out so I guess I was a bit late to that party) I clapped my hands with glee. Finally, a fresh, modern twist on the vampire legend, with relateable teenage characters and a big helping of romance - I loved it. Never to the point of being a "Twihard" but still... the series had me hooked. It just didn't last very long though; after re-reading the series a few times I realised how irritating I found Bella and Edward, and the release of Breaking Dawn was the final nail in the coffin. So I set about looking for something else to read, and I soon discovered the shelves of Waterstones were flooded with similar books and the genre that is 'Paranormal Romance'.

Several years later, this creativity stagnation continues. It saddens me that I can't walk into a bookshop and find a YA book that features a bit of romance without some kind of mythical creature involved. Even the Vampire ones make me cringe. Now, I'm all for a Vampire romance, but they're never real vampires, are they? Always some mysterious, yet completely-perfect vegetarian who falls head over heels for a girl with no personality. In fact, all the male protagonists, whether they be a Vampire, Angel, Werewolf - whatever - have this ridiculous image of perfection where their only flaws are that they happen to be stalkers, and a whole other species... I guess Lust conquers all, right?

The girls are just as bad. Whatever happened to strong female characters with a spirit and a backbone? Intelligent women like dear old Lizzie Bennet who answered back and were something to aspire to, not these limp-as-lettuce girls full of nervous ticks and instantaneous love who do nothing but obsess over these mysterious boys with strange yet beautiful eyes. Of course, these boys are such tortured souls that they try to keep the girl away by being a dick, until they're finally overcome with "love" and give in. No wonder we live in a world where girls think "Oh he was being mean to me, but that means he likes me!".

Not to mention that they're all made into a series or "saga". I'm struggling to decide whether this is a marketing ploy to drain as much money from this market as possible, or simply a sign of a bad author who can't wrap up a story in one book and must split it into 3 or 4. Maybe it's both...

The worst part of this literary fiasco is that it's breeding. No, I'm not joking. The new must-read book for women, '50 Shades of Grey', started life as a Twilight fan-fiction (which I found glaringly apparent), and the relationship depicted is even more twisted, sexist and abusive than Bella and Edward's.

With more 'Paranormal Romance' stories appearing every day, this phenomenon sees no sign of ending, and so, I'm turning back to the past. Today I happily started rereading my favourite classics, desperately seeking solace in the worlds of Austen and Anne Rice and I'm not coming out until creativity has been restored. Or at least until someone writes about real vampires that eat people and don't sparkle.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tunes on a Rainy Tuesday

So the wonderful English weather has decided to live up to it's reputation these past couple of days with non-stop torrential rain, flood warnings, the works. However I took a great deal of satisfaction in the fact ALL the trains this morning were delayed by 20 minutes, except mine, which arrived exactly on time ;) My fairy gothmother must have been smiling down on me. It's always those little things that make life worthwhile :)

In honour of this wonderful weather, I've spent the afternoon splashing through some suitable watery songs for your listening pleasure...

1) The Cure - Prayers For The Rain

One of my favourite songs by The Cure <3 The one good thing about this horrible weather is that I can warble my adapted version "Prayers For The Rain To Stop" around the house at full volume completely guilt free ;)

2) The Cult - Rain

 3) Bella Morte - The Rain Within Her Hands

4) All About Eve - Shelter From The Rain

5) Clan of Xymox - Out Of The Rain

Voila! 5 songs about rain - that wasn't easy, but I can tell your impressed ;)

Before I head off to do some work, I'd like to say a quick hello to my new followers! I'm really thrilled that you guys like what you're reading enough to follow - so thanks :) it's nice to meet you and I hope we can get to know each other better. I love reading what you guys have to say, so comment away if the mood takes you. And as always, requests for Tunes on Tuesday themes/songs are always welcome :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Goth Challenge! Day 30: Make a list of blogs you regularly read and link to them.

I completely forgot that I hadn't finished the challenge yet, hence why I'm posting this over a month after Day 29... Really all the blogs I'm following are worth reading, but I'm determined to finish the challenge so I've tried to narrow this list down to my favourite blogs, which you definitely need to stop by and read if you don't already!

So here we go...

Gothic Charm School - Jillian Venters (aka The Lady of the Manners) is a brilliant example of someone who is a grown-up and a goth and has an actual real-life job. She's a role-model for many a young darkling, and her book is a brilliant addition to any bookshelf. I admire the level of detail and research she puts into her posts which are often responses to questions from readers, and I've found many a good webstore by browsing her archives.

Stripy Tights and Dark Delights - Amy's blog is amazing, with posts on everything from how to deal with anti-goth parents, to her favourite new Etsy finds. She's also the main inspiration behind me, and many others, starting their own gothy-themed blogs. I'm sure you guys stalk Amy's blog as much as I do so there's no need for me to introduce it, though I'd like to wish her a very happy birthday as she turned 21 a couple of days ago :)

Aversion to Color - I love Alice's informative posts such as her 'Extended Addams Family' feature, profiling people e.g. Siouxsie, who have been influential within the scene. She's definitely worth following as you'll learn something new every time you stop by.

Darkling Dreams - Megan's DIY posts are always full of brilliant, unique ideas. Crayon pumpkins? Who'd have thought ^^ and she's always posting about something original :)

Bethezda's Preoccupations - Wow, this beautiful lady is brilliant at doing make-up. I'm in awe of her skills.

Madame Noire - Another Make-up genius. Every look she posts is vibrant and unique, and usually something I'd love to replicate and wear.

The Walrus Room - I love Sary's style, her outfits posts are fabulous and always inspire me to dress in something other than jeans and tees :)

The Everyday Goth - An eclectic blog covering everything from Cemetery Etiquette, to dorm decoration tips, to thought provoking features like 'The Link Between BDSM and Goth'.

Bats in the Belfry, Cats in the Attic -OddGhoulOut (aka Katie) is a Ghost Tour Guide, which has to be hands-down one of the coolest jobs around. I really enjoy reading her DIY posts which are full of interesting ideas :)

*drum roll*

Ta-daaaah, this post now marks the end to The 30 Day Goth Challenge! I'd like to thank the academy and my fans ... uh, ok maybe not, but I'd like to thank everyone that follows me, without whom I'd have probably given up halfway :) *hands out bat-shaped lollipops* Thanks guys! x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tunes on Tuesday!

Yes it's that time of the week again, hasn't it come around quickly? I've only been back at college a week and the work is already mounting up; I'm desperately trying to balance my college work, personal life and the start of my university application... I have a feeling the personal life may have to take a back seat -_-

1) Emilie Autumn - Time For Tea

This relates to my post from Sunday about Tea Party Etiquette - if I were ever to hold a tea party, this is the kind of teatime tune I would play. Needless to say, this wouldn't be your ordinary tea party ;)

2) Depeche Mode - Policy of Truth

Somehow I've made it through life without ever hearing anything by this band - who let me get away with this atrocity?? I'm definitely making up for it now though, I think this is my favourite of the ones I've heard so far...

3) Bauhaus - Stigmata Martyr

and the epic fail of the week award goes to me! One of my college tutors noticed the 'In The Flat Field' album cover stuck in my project book and said "Ooh, Stigmata Martyr" in a knowing way... cue me having a slightly deaf moment and replying "uh what?" - Way to go Soph. Real cool.

4) 45 Grave - Night of the Demons

Come on out and party with the dead, the sun goes down, better say your prayers, the demons come alive on Halloween <3 .... damn that's catchy.

5) Jack Off Jill - Author Unknown

"Don't be afraid to call yourself a feminist. The term should not be considered blasphemous or inflammatory. Don't let the world shame you because you believe that all people deserve equal opportunity, rights and respect." - Jessicka Addams (Front woman of Jack Off Jill).

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Time For Tea... Tea Party Etiquette for the Civilised Goth

Ever since I first delved into the world of Alice in Wonderland, I have loved the idea of Tea Parties. I adore the concept of dressing up in all your frills and finery to sit chit-chatting over tea and cake, although this small joy seems to be lost in a world that prefers a gossip over a pint or two. I'm yet to convince my friends that this is a fun way to spend an afternoon... but I'll wear them down ;)

For those of us who care to indulge this whimsy, there are certain rules of etiquette that must be abided by if you wish for a return invite...

What To Do

  Arrive on time. Arriving late is not fashionable, it is bad manners.
  The hostess should pour the tea, but if it is not done for you then pour the tea first, followed by milk, sugar or lemon.
  When taking a sip, only raise the teacup. Leave the saucer on the table, or in your lap if you're not seated at a table. Return the teacup to the saucer between sips.
Place your napkin in your lap, it should never be on the table. If you leave the table, place your napkin on your chair.
  Eat the courses in the correct order. Firstly, Scones, then Sandwiches and Savouries, and finally, Sweets.
  It is perfectly acceptable to eat with your fingers, but if the food is messy or has a runny filling then please use a fork.
  When the tea party is over, the hostess will place her napkin on the table. You should follow suit, folding your napkin in half or quarters, but never balling it up, and laying it to the left of your plate.

What Not To Do

  Do not dine with gloves on.
  Do not blow on your tea. Instead, leave it on the table until it has cooled.
  Never lay cutlery / serving utensils on the tablecloth. Leave them on the corresponding plates, and place your teaspoon on your saucer after stirring your tea.
  Never slurp your tea.
  Never hold your cup with your pinkie finger extended.
  Never sip tea from your spoon.
  Don't put the whole sandwich or sweet in your mouth, even though it may be small enough. Instead, take small bites.
  Do not overload your plate, tea parties are meant to be light affairs.
  Never reach over other people.
  Be careful not to clink your spoon against your cup while stirring your tea.

The most important rule is to be polite and considerate at all times. Enjoy yourself, and compliment your hostess - you'll almost definitely be invited back.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Monster High... you've got competition.

Many Goth girls squeed with delight when Monster High dolls hit the shelves, clapping their little hands and digging out their purses - finally a fashion doll that's both creepy and beautiful, as well as reasonably priced!

Now Bratz have jumped on the bandwagon with their own spin-off... Bratzillaz, where "glam gets wicked".

Picture this, the Bratz dolls have had a bit of a makeover and a name change (ooh, "Sashabella"... creative) and are invited to Bratzillaz Academy of Fashion and Magic. They have to choose a cape, read the spell and voila! They get a whole new outfit. Including fishnet gloves and streaked hair ;)

Oh, and now they're witches. Does this sound slightly familiar to anyone?

Where Monster High has always seemed beautifully executed with a lot of thought put into the outfits (including the small details and accessories) and their backstory, Bratzillaz appear to be a cheaply made counterpart cashing in on the Monster High market and the usual Halloween hype. Even a brief look at the outfits shows that they're really nothing in comparison.

Monster High ^


Bratzillaz ^

There are some aspects I like; the violet hair on the 4th doll is fabulous, as well as her matching corset. I also like the nod to Steampunk which shows in "Meygana Broomstix" outfit (she's the one with the flaming red hair), her goggles are a cute addition. The hair on "Cloetta Spelletta" is cool too, it's a unique white/black/pink combo that matches her outfit. However, the rest of it is similar to any other Bratz collection and doesn't get me very excited., though I admit I did have a little "whoo..." moment when I originally saw the TV advert ;)

To be honest, I can't see these dolls having the same subcultural appeal as Monster High, but it's nice to see a doll aimed at kids that acknowledges alternative style and looking different instead of being the perfect blonde fashionista. Bratz consistently produce collections that celebrate being unique and having your own style - my personal favourite being their 'Pretty n Punk' collection from 2005 - and I don't think you can ever have too many dolls like that on the market.

I found this article on the Meygana Brazillaz interesting, particularly if you're interested in the quality of the dolls - they look rushed and cheaply made to me, but I can't tell you from first-hand experience. They have really pretty eyes though.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Tunes on Tuesday!

So, after not updating for a couple of weeks, Tunes on Tuesday is finally back with a bang!

1) Zombina and the Skeletones - Zombie Hop

2) Evanescence - Lost In Paradise

Ok, I know that liking Evanescence is slightly controversial; they're one of those bands that usually screams poser/mallgoth/babybat, but they're probably the main reason I overturned the rock the Goth subculture was hiding under so I owe a lot to them. I still really enjoy their music, Amy Lee has a stunning voice and a lot of their songs still give me goosebumps to this day.

3) The Exploding Boy - Sweet Little Lies

I'm sure I found this band on someone's blog this week, but I can't remember whose blog it was :S if it was yours let me know so I can give credit where it's due, I really like what I've heard from them so far <3

EDIT: I found them via TheHalloweenLadybug <3

4) Screaming For Emily - The Love

5) Radio Scarlet - Ten Sad Reasons (To Throw Us A Party)

Horror of all horrors, my glue gun broke! Which means I can't complete the DIY post I had planned for this week - drat :( I'll have to keep you in suspense for a little while until i find a replacement ;) Luckily I wasn't touching it at the point it decide to die because it let out a big spark and a bang, and then tripped all the electrics in the house :/ My mum wasn't too pleased...

Hope everyone's had a good time getting back to school/college/university this last couple of weeks :)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Obituary Challenge

I got tagged by Megan at Darkling Dreams for the Obituary Challenge!

  1. Link back to whoever tagged you.
  2. Put these rules in your tag. 
  3. Write an obituary about yourself (it can be as funny or as serious as you like).
  4. Write about a paragraph or two (or more if necessary) in length.
  5. You may tag up to 10 people, and be sure to link to them.
  6. Have fun, because creative writing is one of the greatest joys in life!

Dear Readers, it falls upon me to inform you of a terrible sadness that occured in the early hours of this morning. Our dear friend, fellow daughter of the night, and all-round badass, Sophie, has departed this earthly plane.

After an evening spent applying hair dye, she had settled down to watch 'Interview With The Vampire' in her very attractive shower cap and bunny slippers when she was disturbed by the doorbell. Upon answering it, she was captured by the evil wizard Gargamel after he had mistakenly assumed - due to her partially turquoise hair - that she was descendent from The Smurfs. Unfortunately, the dye fumes had rendered her too loopy to call for help and she was dragged off into the night.

On the way to Gargamel's tower, they passed a graveyard where distinct moaning was heard, and seconds later a green-tinted fiend staggered through the cemetry gates calling for "Braaaains!". Being the most intelligent in the group, the Zombie was naturally more attracted to Sophie's brains and so, Gargamel fled leaving Sophie to tackle the undead alone. She hotfooted away from the mouldy man, through the cemetry where she'd spent so many afternoons picnicking, dodging tombs and ducking behind mausoleums - upon which point she tripped and fell into an open grave (à la Most Haunted) becoming yet another statistic of the Zombie Apocalypse. Her body has not been recovered.

Warning: If you see this girl, call the Zombie Removal Squad - do not approach her. She is presumed to be one of the undead.

Respects will be paid on Saturday by scattering black rose petals about the town and reciting maccabre poetry by candlelight. Mourners are invited to come dressed as their favourite cartoon character, though this is optional.


Anyone reading this who hasn't already done it, consider yourself tagged ;)

and in case you missed the linky in the Obituary...

Best Most Haunted clip ever. xD

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Unexpected Absence, Spiderbites and Mini Halloween Haul

Apologies for my unexpected disappearance off the face of the blogging world - time caught up with me and I realised I had only a couple of weeks to finish my summer college project, eek! So all my free time got devoted to completing that, instead of blogging... I'm feeling slightly better about it though, having spoken to some people in my class who haven't even started it yet ;)

Today I finally got my second spiderbite pierced! It looks really good, and Andy (the guy who owns the piercing shop I go to, Body Mech) is so professional, which I think really makes a difference - he knows exactly what he's talking about and does the piercing quickly with no fuss. If you're in the north of England, I'd definitely recommend going there to get pierced. Also I can cross #4 off my 20 Things To Do Before I'm 20 :D

Oh I do chuckle at the amount of people on Facebook who ask "Does it hurt?" ... well frankly, Yes, you're paying for a needle to be put through your lip, followed by a piece of metal. It's going to hurt. But it hurts less than you think it's going to, so if you're thinking about getting it done then do it! It's so worth it afterwards.

Moi, looking a bit dazed...

I'm probably going to twist them both round so the balls on the rings are at the back, but I don't want to twist it while it's still sore so this pic will have to do :) What do you guys think? Suits me?

I nearly jizzed when I saw that a few stores in town were putting out their Halloween stock after the 'Back To School' drama, I was particularly impressed with my local Poundworld which had a lovely selection of wooden signs with slogans like 'Beware' and 'Enter if you dare' - written in glitter, which we all know makes everything more exciting. I picked up various spooky lovelies, as well as some cute pumpkin and ghost fairylights (also available in red skeletal hands) - that's right, they were £1 ! and I plan to go back and buy the entire stock ;)

Sorry for not having time to do a Tunes on Tuesday today - to tide you over until next week, here's a tune to get you in the spirit of the season ;)

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