books, personal

a series of updates, book reviews, and advice

In regards to the current books in my life:

I am out of my reading slump! It’s a fucking miracle! I did not read, like, all summer. I read casually, like short blurbs of non-fiction or magazines. I don’t have any idea why my brain decided that it loved reading again. I woke up a few days ago and was like Fuck, I miss books. I felt so uncomfortable with myself the entire time I was in that slump. It was a constant war of “I want to read, I need to read, I can’t read”. I’d start a chapter of something and my attention span would direct me elsewhere. It felt so unhealthy. Books are one of the best forms of therapeutic activity for me, other than listening to music and getting tattooed.  Not to mention, I could feel my fucking brain cells dying a little every day. Honestly? I think it was the pre-wedding stress that was making me way more attention-deficit. Weddings are stressful as shit and one of my main anxiety symptoms is restlessness so if I had to use the logical side of my brain, I would guess that a solid portion of my reading slump was stress-based. I don’t know if I talked about this before but I’m an over-analyzer who deals with every hypothesis and conclusion on the right side of my brain. So, I use logic and sound reasoning a lot more than I like to admit, but the emotive side usually does the talking for me. Due to the fact that I’m either a ball of rage or annoyed, I think my emotions usually present themselves in a way that’s more of a warning, less of an invitation. Anyway, let’s talk about books, baby.

I just finished the Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault today. It was an easy read for me and very compelling so I kind of flew through it. I liked the main character and I felt like the other characters were really complex and layered, which is great since I feel like so many side characters are allowed to have three defining traits that determine the entirety of their purpose. The premise is extremely interesting and has actually prompted me to take an interest in learning how to read tea leaves in my downtime. (This means that fuckweasel is going to be dragged to a pottery painting workspace so that I can make a tasseography cup! Yay, fuckweasel!) The ending was the only part of the story that I didn’t like. I felt like I should have been expecting something way more sinister and it kind of fell more on the meh spectrum than I had hoped for. I was very close to figuring out the mystery but eventually decided not to care, since I was going to find out at some point. I also hated Matt with a passion, so that dampened the story a bit.

Solid 3/5 stars.

I am listening (thanks to the lovely folks at Audible) to All the Crooked Saints by The Stiefvs. This book is gorgeous. I love all the characters, especially Beatrice and Pete. I read in an interview of hers that Beatrice was modeled after the Myers-Briggs type, INTJ, which is what I am! I can also be an INFJ, depending on the day, but my scale usually tips to the Thinking side. Anyway, the story is beautifully crafted in classic Stiefvater style and just like all her other stories, it’s completely unique and authentically creative. I’m a little over halfway through and I am more emotionally invested than I ever wanted to be. Speaking of our lord and savior, Maggie S., she’s also teasing us with snippets from the Dreamer trilogy, aka the continuation of my male-counter part’s story with the love of my life, Adam Parrish. Although, I still miss Kavinsky. More than I should at this point in my life but hey, there are way worse destructive behaviors I could indulge myself with (not that I don’t already but moderation is key, kids).

I picked up An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson today. I have been waiting to read this book F O R E V E R.

Here’s the synopsis:

 

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Doesn’t that just sound like some shit I’d be into? I am so fucking excited to read this book. Plus the title? Ravens are my shit, man.

10/10 will keep you posted.

Lastly, I’ve been thumbing through Witch by Lisa Lister. It’s a pseudo-spellbook with a heavy sense of female empowerment. I have been highlighting passages like crazy and it will probably end up being my manifesto for a while. The author cusses a lot and I really appreciate that on a deep, spiritual level. I strongly recommend it for people who are newly discovering witchcraft or are trying to rediscover their own which brings me to the topic of…

In regards to my witchcraft practices: 

Firstly, I have an appointment to get a very witchcraft related tattoo tomorrow. I just wanted to tell you that because tattoos are always exciting. I also have another tattoo appointment to get Johnny Cash quotes with my godmother (who also practices). I did a lot of tarot readings in a short amount of time and apparently, I attract the Magician card. I am not fucking with you, it showed up in every reading; whether it was a card in the spread or it fell out into my lap, it was there. It pissed me off. For those of you who don’t know, the Magician “is a master of all trades, resilient to what the world throws at him, a reminder that your power is larger than your physical body”. It’s basically someone who has mastered their magic, their emotions, their logic, and their work. I am not a balanced person so I’m sure most people would have seen that and been like “Get your shit together” but I saw it and was like “Fuck, I need to get back into doing some serious witchcraft and also, I should get a tattoo of this card.”

No one ever said I was of sound mind.

So, here we are in the middle of my favorite month and with the veil thinning more and more each day. You bet your ass that I’m working on making my craft a little stronger each day. I did have a regular customer ask me if I had a broom to go with my hair and choice of clothing. In addition, I had a quiz on the internet tell me that I’m a “wild shadow witch” so I guess you could say I’m doing okay with it.

Today, I made a french press and persimmon cookies to honor the dead. Honoring the dead is something that I have a particular skill in throughout the entirety of the year but when that veil is lifting, I basically throw parties. My Mimi and I shared October and coffee and persimmon cookies.

In regards to my marriage / personal life: 

Marriage isn’t any different. I don’t say that to be a dick, but we’ve been doing this for so long and with such intention to make it work that it’s not like anything actually changed. Fuckweasel has been working very long hours so I’ve been an extra crazy housewife, cleaning schedule and all. We were going to start looking at houses but he wants to hold off for a couple of years and I’m totally okay with that. I love our apartment (even though I’m fairly certain that we have a ghost now, it’s a long story) and I just want him to be happy and comfortable (fuck off, he’s my best friend). I haven’t legally changed my name yet because its such a big pain in the ass but I’m going to get that process started while I finish our thank-you notes. I’ve been cooking like a fucking lunatic. I’m working on getting the hang of our cast iron skillet and sometimes my chicken is a little overdone but I would rather NOT get salmonella, so its a fair trade. Here’s a list of my most recent cooking adventures:

  •  Chicken piccata
  • Quinoa and red pepper power bowls
  • Alfredo pasta with bacon and sauteed mushrooms
  • Creamy lemon salmon
  • Crushed potatoes with an herb and olive oil dressing
  • Orange and spice salmon
  • Creamy citrus chicken
  • Persimmon cookies
  • Parmesan cauliflower bites
  • Avocado fries

There’s more but I think you get the gist. I’ve been cooking a storm up in this bitch. I wouldn’t call myself a skilled chef by any means but I enjoy the cathartic aspect of cooking and its a really fantastic creative outlet.

In other news, photography class is my favorite thing ever, other than tattoos and motorcycles. Someday, I hope to take pictures of tattoed people riding motorcycles so maybe all my true loves will intersect in the future. I struggle hard with Photoshop but I don’t really plan on utilizing anything other than Lightroom, so it’s okay.

In regards to other aspects of my life that you may or may not give a fuck about: 

  • Found out my temperament is choleric, which further adds to the Slytherin / Capricorn dominant / INTJ / wild shadow witch thing that I’ve got going on.
  • I’m trying a new acne regimen. For those of you who read this and know me outside of the interwebs, I have struggled with adult acne for about 6 years now. Nothing has actually ever worked, including birth control and seeing a dermatologist. This regimen comes HIGHLY recommended for people with hormonal issues like me (PCOS and Endo are a bitch, guys) so wish me luck. I’ll be doing before/ after pictures and cataloging any improvements and setbacks.  Be prepared to see my dumb fucking face more often. I’m extremely self-conscious about my acne because I had perfect skin growing up and then my face was a spontaneous war zone. I’ve given up certain foods to make my acne better and that is some serious bull shit. Stay tuned.

 

Thank you to all of you fucks who still check this shit out even though there’s no designated posting schedule. Y’all are the real MVP and I look forward to gracing you with my shining personality every time that I start writing.

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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personal, photography

autumnal creatures, rejoice

Hello, my children of the night

Autumn has arrived in my little melting pot of a town and I feel like a completely different human. That was dramatic, let me rephrase: I feel like the same, small and angry human, who feels at home in her skin.

That was dramatic, let me rephrase: I feel like the same, small and angry human, who feels at home in her skin.

My apartment is entirely decorated for autumn and Halloween. I say “entirely” in the sense that most of my home decor is gothic anyway and I’ve just been adding more to it and burning a shit ton of fall candles.

Jason and I got a space heater in preparation for the colder months, you know, like adults; today I went to REI and got some camping chairs to put on our patio so I can sit outside with my laptop and my tea. Speaking of that, I am currently in one of the said chairs, with a blanket that my grandma made me, my Pirates of the Carribean mug full of tea, and a Spotify playlist called “crisp leaves and lattes” playing through my speakers. I AM A COMPLEX INDIVIDUAL WHO LIKES STREET RACING AND ANGRY MUSIC AND BAR FIGHTS BUT WILL CHUG A PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE FASTER THAN YOU CAN SAY UGG BOOTS AND LEGGINGS, OKAY?! FUCKING F I G H T M E

Anyway, autumn and winter are the months where I feel the most serene and magical. You know how I talk about what a bitch I am during summer? I am still a bitch, but a much calmer bitch. I’m a domesticated, sweater weather loving, judgemental stare giving asshole during fall and I love it. Autumn is extremely nostalgic for me. Autumn is a blanket of familiar sadness and a sensation of pure, overwhelming bliss. I myself am a contradiction so therefore I thrive during times when I’m experiencing such a contrasting pull on both sides of my heart.

Autumn brings grief because it reminds me of:

  • Good friends I used to spend most of my days with, who I no longer speak to. I don’t miss them and our friendships were unhealthy, but the memories still hurt
  • My Mimi;  summer was a big season for us because I was always with her but there’s a reason my Papa called us “the Witches” – we are autumnal souls. She was my autumnal hero.
  • Being in a car crash three years ago that was, honestly, pretty horrific and fucked my head up for a while
  • Living in situations that were claustrophobic and downright toxic
  • Working in places that were ALSO toxic

Autumn also brings me joy, not only because I adore every single fucking aspect of it but because I get to experience memories regarding:

  • Doing homework with my sister, spending each and every day with her, leaning on her for support and giving her support in return.
  • Adventures with Heather, who also thrives during the -ber months. She always made me feel so normal when autumn rolled around and I was growing back into myself instead of shrinking away, like everyone else
  • 20+ years of midnight Halloween shenanigans
  • Jason, Jason, Jason
  • Music; this one is obscure and hard to describe but there’s a specific type of music that only fits colder days and I yearn for it during summer
  • Camping – I love camping in the cold. Fucking love it. Judge me, I fucking dare you.
  • Witchcraft, I focus so much more on my practice when I feel more like myself. Summer is so full of irritation and bitterness that I forget how much I love books and magic and walks in the forest.
  • Warm, cozy, wonderful baths
  • Staying at Aunt Tonya’s house

On a book-related note, I have not only collected several new kitchen appliances but also, several new cookbooks that I am stoked to thumb through and play with. I guess I also won a copy of The Dream Thieves and that kind of made my day when I found it on the coffee table. I’m going to keep it in the car for traffic jams and that’s my final answer.

Speaking of making my day, I got to see my sweet, lovely Nichole today. I got my wedding ring tattooed today. Yes, I did that. I would go into a hundred justifications of it but I don’t really give a fuck what anyone thinks of me or my tattoos. I’ve included some pictures but for clarification reasons, the blue symbols are for Taurus and Scorpio (Jason, who is a Taurus with a water / Scorpio dominance — the blue is for his career) and the black symbols are Pisces and Capricorn ( me; Pisces with Earth / Capricorn dominance and black because it matches my soul). I was going to get waves or a mountain range, but as I was driving to the shop I thought “Why not make this as specific and generally disgusting as possible” Nichole6Nichole10Nichole11Nichole12

I think I did a good job.

Here is the photographic evidence that my apartment is already as basic as possible yet getting worse every day. The reason that my tattoo pictures and these are so dramatically different is due to the fact that lighting and editing are confusing and I AM STILL LEARNING, OKAY?

 

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

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personal, Uncategorized

see you on the streets

They told me that growing up with mental illness can affect how you view the world as an adult; the smallest acts of bravery, of cunning, of strength can leave someone tormented by their own demons a little breathless.

In my opinion, it makes people like me, who struggle to find sleep over the sound of doubt, more able to see small pieces of magic woven into the thread of my life.

Here’s a secret: I firmly believe there is something magical about cars, especially my car. When I saw it, after weeks of back-and-forth with the dealership, I knew something was so strangely me about that car, I needed to drive it. Since leaving the lot with the keys in my hand, I have given my black Nissan Juke the name Regulus Kavinsky. Tomorrow, I go to the DMV to pick up my custom license plates with GRYWRN in Tahoe blue letters.

I have always been weirdly attached to the things that I drive; I have given them all names and cooed to them lovingly from the driver’s seat. My first car, a forest green 2002 Jeep Cherokee was called Bessie. I taped a sheet of paper with rules to the dashboard in order to give passengers ample heads up that I wouldn’t tolerate being treated like a taxi, a trash can, or given any bullshit about my driving.

The last car I drove before Kavinsky was a silver Ford Explorer, nicknamed Smeagol – I always imagined that if that fucking monstrosity could speak, it would be a horrible, wretched noise. I punched the radio hard enough to break my skin and damage the screen.

Kavinsky, on the other hand, is much less aggravating. There is a sensation that I get when I top one-hundred miles per hour in that car, switching between manual and automatic seamlessly. It’s an emptiness in my chest, a void where the sadness and anger usually sit like scavengers waiting for prey. I drove out to a lake last night, a lake filled with ley lines and irate spirits. Kavinsky was immobilized by the thin sand and my sister pushed him out while my feet were introducing the floor to the gas pedal. He is now coated with a layer of pale Nevada dust and my anxiety sits in the passenger seat in place of a shrewd Scorpio woman.

“Your car has tattoos, just like you,” my dad had said when I showed him around. My car is an extension of myself. A heart outside my own body. There is a large green Slytherin vinyl on the back window, surrounded carefully by Latin words, song lyrics, and Ouija planchettes. I have stored maps in the glove box and emergency kits in the trunk because there is always time to seek adventure or to be a menace. My camera, Dick III, anticipates trips to graveyards and tattoos shops from his seat in the back. My fur-child has left herself all over Kavinsky, as well – there are window markings and enough hair to assemble another dog.

Johnny Cash and Imagine Dragons and Kurt Cobain come with me on coffee runs. The scent of autumn and hemp leaves permeate the seats, a residual scent from either my fingertips or my soul. There are books, stacks and stacks of books, and headphones scattered throughout the interior.  I sit and whisper away, away, away as I go, with tears streaming down my face and shaking hands on the wheel. The deterioration of my control is a devil on my shoulder, a blessing and a curse. I carry crystals in the doors and tarot cards in my purse. A large white text saying “Go Smudge Yourself” warns other drivers that I carry the power of the dead and the moon under the circles beneath my eyes.

My godmother has the same car and I tell her secrets while we color my hair black to match my wardrobe and Kavinsky’s paint. There is a ballad written about him, dedicated by a tenant above my work who was sworn into my servitude in exchange for leaving an inch long, unseeable scrape on the left-hand side. I was, surprisingly, never mad about that incident – because now I have a friend who writes songs about my car and I am almost always covered in bruises and scrapes; it would make sense that Kavinsky would need some, too.

A car is a second home. A car is just a moving piece of magic.

k1k2

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

 

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books, personal

hello, it’s me (back from the dead)

Thank you to everyone who has been patiently waiting for me to post again; my fiance and I have been in the process of finding an apartment, packing all of our shit, and moving said shit for the past two months.

I have a lot to catch you guys up on. I have two new tattoos – a thestral and a crown of thorns. We live in a brand new place, and so far, I absolutely love it. Jay graduated so we’ve been navigating that. My car broke down on the day we moved all of our furniture – so we’ve been carpooling ever since. I have a fuck ton of pictures to show you guys. But first, I wanted to tell you why I didn’t write while we were moving. Firstly, I work a shit ton. Spare hours are hard to come by and I was basically managing every aspect of our transport by myself so Jason could finish his classes in peace. There were not a lot of free seconds to devote to writing, unfortunately. Secondly. my space is so crucial to my sanity. I’m an introvert, an INTJ on some days, and an INFJ on others. I am an autumnal spirit who needs solitude and peace before I can function like a person. I also have OCD and anxiety, so everything must be in its proper place. (When I say I have OCD, I don’t mean that I’m afraid of germs and dirt. I mean that I have a little voice inside my head that the psychiatrist I went to actual said “Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier? You have classic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and no one has ever diagnosed you properly, so that sucks”) My personal space is so fucking crucial to my mental health. My home is where I go to recharge, it’s my witch’s cottage, my castle. Don’t fuck with my home or the inhabitants.)

I strongly believe my first home was a song. Maybe it’s because I was raised under the wings of two Cancers but “home” is a very fluid term for me. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time trying to reign in the fireworks under my skin that “home” has shifted from person to object to lyric so frequently.

Anyway, my first home was a song. It was the only thing that held a glimmer of safety and I tucked myself under the lyrics and stayed there until I was strong enough to be my own crescendo. That song was “Skinny Love” by Bob Iver. I know! You were expecting something by Johnny Cash, hang on, it’s coming. Wait for your fucking turn. You can tell me forty thousand times that Skinny Love is about unrequited love, which, for some, it might be. For me, Skinny Love has always been about suicide and depression.

I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s not so much a secret now because the shame is wearing off and replacing itself with something more vicious.

The years between my thirteenth and nineteenth years of my life saw NINE suicide attempts. You read that right, fuck off. I don’t really want to talk about them but they were never supposed to not work so let’s just leave it at this: I’m really horrible at committing suicide. Kind of like how I’m horrible at communication or not using “fuck” as a filler word. I can point out the lines in Skinny Love that helped me recover the next morning after I downed a bottle of narcotic pain pills. I can point out the lines that I sang along to with red-rimmed eyes and panic attacks crawling under my skin. This sucks to talk about so let’s finish on a high note – Skinny Love was something that I always thought was written for me. Not in an egotistical, people-are-writing-songs-about-me way but in “Listen, you sad little bitch, the universe is trying to tell you something”

Hence, my latest tattoo. When I got my thestral patronus, I thought “Fucking perfect, I’m a morbid piece of shit with a death pony as a spirit animal. Who could love that?” Who will love you, who will fight? This leads me into a brief discussion of my second home: myself. I never really cared for myself as an object of permanence until I started decorating the walls. I think my partial sleeves actually started my journey into self-acceptance. Not self-love, that’s a work in progress.  I have all these pieces of my soul etched on my skin and it gives me great comfort to know it’s giving everyone a forewarning before they talk to me.

The other tattoo I got, my crown of thorns, lives ever-so-happily on my middle finger of my right hand. It’s a homage to two things – Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt and my Catholic upbringing. I’ve always felt like us reformed Catholics wear a crown of thorns. My crown is formed of guilt and grief. I’m sure there are other ties that bind us to our thrones, but those are mine.

Thirdly, as you can probably guess, I find a home in the books that I love. They become part of me, so I cover myself in them. I cover my shelves with them, my bathtub is lined with them. If I ever saw someone trying to hurt one of my books, they would get a right hook to the jaw.  Harry Potter, Wicked Lovely, Looking for Alaska, and the Raven Cycle are series that I consider to be especially comfortable.

Lastly, I find my home in other people. Before you get all judgy and start accusing of being a false prophet of introversion,  let me tell you something – I am very particular with the people that I settle into. Above all things that I am proud of, I am most proud of the fact that when I decide to love something or someone, I love them with all that I have. I made a home for myself within the confines of maybe four or five people, tops. One of them is my sister and one of them is Jason. Jason is a very interesting choice of residence, as I am always so sure that we could break each other entirely.  My OCD makes me think I am the catalyst to his destruction, my tarot cards say I am the catalyst for his resurrection.

By the way, my sister gave birth to my goddaughter on June 2nd. Little Annabelle Jade, my little Gemini trickster queen.

So now Jason and I have a tiny 900 square foot fortress and in turn, I have other dwelling places within that home.

I feel as if a home has a different definition to every individual, but I always think of it as a place where I can tell the truth of myself without judgment, a place where I can let my magic reign free with no fear of consequence.

Here are some pictures of my tiny home

deskliving roomravenwitch

Yes, that IS a Ronan Lynch quote above my witchcraft station. Call me morbid but I thought “Not death but his brother, sleep” was a perfect addition to my bedroom. Fight me, I dare you. Did I happen to mention that I got my DNA test back? Guess who is 65% Irish with a Russian and Bulgarian twist. It explains my kinship to the Lynches and Kavinsky.  It also explains my intolerance to the sun, weather above 60 degrees, the spectrum of human emotion, and my love of Jameson.

Speaking of books, I finished Labryth Lost and it was surprisingly really good.  The lore was interesting to read about and I appreciated the way the main character was written. I was surprised by the romantic twist but it was one of my favorite LBGT moments thus far in a book. I also read Diary of a Haunting and it was an easy read but the ending actually snuck up on me a bit. I am having a super hard time getting into A Court of Wings and Ruin, I think because I honestly prefer the Throne of Glass series and I think Aelin and Rowan could kick Feyre and Rhys’ ass. Fun fact: I like slow burn books IF YOU COULDN’T ALREADY TELL.

While we’re on the topic of my favorite literary couples, can we have a moment of silence for all the Dreamer trilogy niblets that Maggie keeps dropping? Not going to lie, I cry when I see them. I save them to my phone and look at them when I need a moment of cathartic release.

I’m currently listening to The Song of Achilles on Audible and reading a physical copy of  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and I have already picked out which quotes I’m going to get added to my Book Sleeve. These books are going to destroy me, I can sense it.

I will start blogging more often, I promise. I’ll have to give reviews of the books I’m reading now and keep updating everyone on my domestic bullshit. I’m back in business for tarot readings since I have more privacy, so tell your friends.

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

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poetry

rage and love, wings and claws

you’ve always been able to hear words to see them, picture them behind closed eyelids but i can taste the syllables and feel the letters, their thorns and petals                           trace my hands over them like they were the notches in your spine

you could look at me and say “coffee” and it would taste like burnt Folgers and mountain air                                                                                                                                                 and salt running down my cheeks

it would feel like running my fingers over the rocks on the edge of the river i was raised in                                                                                                                                                              it would feel like getting splinters on the bottom of my feet from sitting on nostalgic wooden porches

you say “coffee” like a cacophony of broken memories and i can feel the vibrations in my bones

i can run my thumb over the people i’ve learned, the people i’ve been. their stories bend open like they were a book and i was prying apart the spine.

you can say “grief” and mine will be unparalleled to yours. they’ll have the same meaning, same consonants, same iambic pentameter                                                                   but yours tastes like honey and mine is whiskey that burns the back of our throats

it tastes like i cut myself on the crown of thorns over my head, on my fingers, on my wrists
(blood drips over a sacrilegious cupid’s bow, my knuckles are stained red)
it tastes like forgive me, forgive me, forgive me
it tastes like the smell of gunpowder wrapped around a cerebral lobe. the cracks in my ribs were born from recoil and haphazardly decided soulmates. (there are crystals forming where my heart used to be)
it feels like bruised kneecaps from falling

to

the

floor when you watch a heartbeat for the last time

now, it feels like tires screeching on 2 am pavement and the sting of a tattoo needle,       (if you look close enough, you can see blood and ink collide in the water, a war that’s been raging for years)
it feels like a muscle reflex, a flick of a finger, anger blooming where love used to be

it feels like a point between awake and asleep; smoke curled up around tired eyelids and electricity humming inside veins                                                                                                 now i’m an electric lover; the lightening and then the thunder

when you say “home” i can taste the saltwater and the rain                                                        i can feel pavement under my body, a beacon to the lonely and the restless; home is a fluid place with the consistency of syrup

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photography

I Write With My Hands About Things I Do With My Hands

Sup, mofos.

Remember my fiance? You know, the one who I think is super fucking stoic and mysterious but is actually just a huge nerd that makes goat noises?

This fuck weasel?


Guess what he did!

No, you have to guess.

He upgraded my camera. He upgraded my little Kodak to a beautiful, sleek Nikon D5600. Not that I didn’t love my sweet Manon but the local community college did not know how to teach me professional photography on a Kodak. So, let me introduce you to Richard Campbell Gansey III aka Daddy Dick.

He’s beautiful, yes?

I’m stoked because I can now invest in some photography classes during the summer. Here’s a comprehensive list of “what this means for everyone in my sphere of existence”:

  • More pictures of tarot readings
  • More pictures of crystals and bones
  • More pictures of books
  • More pictures of coffee
  • Humans being dragged into adventures on a more frequent basis
  • Obnoxiously spontaneous day trips
  • “I need a fucking picture of that”
  • “I need a picture of your fucking face”
  • “Hold fucking still”

 

Here are some (edited) pictures of bookish layouts that I’ve done in the last couple weeks (taken on the Kodak).


Here is an (edited) picture of a shirt that my boss designed for me that I turned into Tumblr trash.


Here’s me with Daddy Dick.

I also decided to get an Apple Watch, because go big or go home, right? I’m very surprised with how much I like it – I went on a hike yesterday and it was really efficient to have the watch on instead of trying to use my phone for everything.

So, I’m going to be working on photography quite a lot in the upcoming months. This Mercury Retrograde is absolutely kicking my ass; I’m normally an extremely restless person who needs to be engaging in some sort of creative outlet to feel sane and I’m usually small and consistently angry, but this is something else entirely. This is some “I’m afraid of my own shadow, I don’t know who I am anymore” My sister and I are going to get crystals to combat some of the disruptive energy buzzing around the atmosphere. I’ve had an insane amount of drive to do tarot readings lately and when I was up on my mountain I had a weird pull a card pull a card pull a card feeling tugging at my gut. I drew a card.

 

 

Queen of Wands, as defined by Maggie Stiefvater in my raven oracle deck, is essentially the “fire breathing over-protective viciously caustic bitch” card. In case you were wondering how that fucking translates into something important – I pulled my personality on a card. I rarely ever draw fire cards. My birth cards are the Moon and Strength and I typically always end up with Death somewhere in my spreads. Honestly, I think it’s the first time I’ve ever paid attention to the Queen of Wands but I am now paying very good attention and listening very well to whatever the world is saying.

The Queen of Wands is the dominant feminine energy of the element of Fire. She is not afraid to demonstrate her power to others nor does she shy away from a challenge. She is therefore a strong leader who is focused on her desires, intending to get what she wants. Thus, the Queen of Wands indicates that you are strong, independent and able to take care of yourself and sustain your own creative vision, even in the face of adversity. You know what you want and how to get it, and you are masterful at engaging with others to achieve your goals.

Called. The. Fuck. Out. It’s always a little bittersweet when the universe is like “Yeah dude, you have the magic but you kind of need a kick in the fucking pants to remember to use it.”

In bookish news, I put aside Me, Earl the Dying Girl favor of Labyrinth of the Lost by Zoraida Cordova. I needed some more magic and less male narrative in my life. Normally, I gear myself more towards male-oriented novels because 97% of the time, I can’t relate to the main character when it’s a girl. Unless she’s like, basically Satan, I cannot handle the tortured, love-sick monolog and the internal struggle to be “just like other girls”. I have never once had a desire to be the same as someone else and I hope that I receive a nice uppercut to the jaw if that ever happens. I digress;  I like Cordova’s novel thus far, I have always had a strong inclination to the study of brujas and Dia De Los Muertos. I hope this book does the culture justice. I just finished Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and the ending was not bad! I really enjoyed the story and I’m considering getting the second book in the series but I’m so behind on my TBR that I can feel my soul dying a little every day. Just kidding, I don’t have a soul; but my TBR is fucking insane, I wasn’t kidding about that part. I noticed that audio-books have really changed my interaction with reading as a whole. I was driving the other day, running errands as we adults do, and I realized that I’ve started to equate certain parts of town with certain moments in books. Seventh Street now reminds me of when Ronan stole the Pig and raced K. The parking lot of Ulta out on Pyramid Highway will always bear the weight of Kit finding out that Della is pregnant. It’s a strange sort of reality, where words have started to paint themselves into my town.

In terms of other creative projects, I am currently teaching myself to embroider so I can give people dish towels that say shit like “go fuck yourself” and “thug ass piece of trash” because you know, I love them. I’d like to be able to embroider patches someday because I fucking love putting patches on shit. I’m trying so hard to put more energy into bullet journaling. That’s right, friends, ya girl is Bullet Journal Trash. Honestly, though, I have tried and tested so many fucking methods of keeping my shit together. I have the attention span of a five-year-old so traditional methods are not good for me. My BuJo (shut the fuck up) is less of a planner and more of a Book of Shadows and memoir cross-over. The most organized aspect of it is my “Important Dates” page where I basically write down any appointments I have that are at high risk to be forgotten aka “any appointment I make, ever.” Here is my cuss-word filled BuJo in all its glory, paired up with my rude-ass pencil bag that has more lipsticks and lighters in it than actual pens. 

My 2017 reading accomplishments page is sad, I know. I got sucked into the Raven Cycle series and it spit me out, completely unmotivated to read anything else, ever again. If you need me, I’ll be continuing my existential crisis over the search for a dead Welsh king and the fact that I have the same soul as a street-racing farmer.

That’s all there is,

Carry on –

The Book Witch

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Sunday Ramblings

So, I’m finally crawling out of the despair pit that was my Post-Raven Cycle Reading Slump. I’m still completely over the moon with that series – it was a life changer but I’m easing my way back into other literature. I read Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. Then I tried a contemporary romance and that was a mistake, so I gave it to a friend and moved onto Me, Earl & The Dying Girl which gives me a sneaking suspicion that I, too, might die at the end. I’m also listening to Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea and also enjoying it quite a bit.

On an unrelated note, I strongly recommend listening to podcasts about subjects that you enjoy if you ever feel lost, they’ll help you rediscover your love for “stuff”

On a semi-unrelated note, here are some updates about my life:

  • I’m coloring my hair to black in a couple weeks. I had a black fo-hawk a couple years ago and I loved the color but the length was a bit much. Trying to keep up with my growth right now is a bitch, so I’m going to nix that problem right in the roots. (That WAS a hair pun, you’re welcome)
  •  I have an appointment to get my thestral tattoo in a couple weeks and I’ll also be adding to my fingers; my tarot symbols didn’t take very well to my skin but my artist is the most amazing human ever and I have no doubt that she’ll be able to fix that.
  • I may be upgrading my camera! Seriously, I’m so excited. I did not expect to love photography this much. I also plan on giving my sister my Kodak, in the event of said upgrade, because she loves taking pictures and it would be nice to have a buddy.
  • I have been agonizing over my Imagine Dragons tattoo. Combining five songs into a single bicep-sized image is basically torture. I was stoked when I finally created this masterpiece on my computer and have thus decided to have thousands of tiny needles engrave it on my skin. imgine dragons
  • Last but not least: I ordered a DNA tracing kit in order to find out more about my personal heritage. That’s what this particular segment of my odd ramblings is going to focus on: family.

You know the word: family. Familia. Teaghlaigh. Семейный

It’s defined as all “descendants of a common ancestor”.

My mom is adopted so I don’t know anything about my ancestors. The fact that she was adopted has no relevance to my life other than that. My Papa and Mimi taught me that we chose our own family, and I’ve stuck to that doctrine throughout my whole life. I am closer to and more loved by people who aren’t even in the same genetic pool as I than some people that I share blood with. But, more on that later. The moral of the story is that my mom was so loved that my grandparents chose her to be their child. I share no blood with those same grandparents and yet, I share their hearts.

Let’s talk about my dad.

Our last name is “Primak”, which is a very Russian rooted word. So, we know that much. I go by “Hayden” because I feel as though an alias is something I was born to have and middle names can totally count for an alias, right?

Fucking right.

My dad…

dado

(The resemblance between us is uncanny, by the way)

My dad was in the middle of building a student union at my University when I was much younger. He was one of the upper dudes who told other dudes how to do math-y shit and how to not be idiots. My dad, for lack of better terms, is not an idiot. I keep thinking about this particular time period because there’s a memory that has lodged itself so far into my brain that I have theorized it would take some serious sort of accident to dislodge it. My dad took me to the University library. It was different than it was now, but I remember two things:

  1. I was scared shitless. These college kids were tall and smart as fuck and I was an awkward Catholic school kid. I imagined every one of them looked at me with disgust and years of wisdom beyond mine. Little did I know that they were all dying internally and had I paid better attention, at least 26% were in pajamas and 38% were hungover.
  2. My dad doesn’t have a lot of words to say. He’s one of those individuals who doesn’t fill your life with meaningless bullshit if he can help it. As a child, I did not understand that. I grew up around Italians and Italians are the loudest breed of human beings who love (I say this with as much endearing fondness as I can) meaningless bullshit. Today, I very much understand that my dad offering me admittance to this library of scholars was his way of saying “I see you reading, and I see your passion for it.” I had been put down for my love of books for so many years that this realization was a bucket of ice water to my brain.

Long story short, he’s someone that I do happen to have a blood relation with, and who I am grateful to have a blood relation with. My dad is the reason I have a caffeine dependence. I look for him tucked in corners of my town, in cafes, on Lander St, in the stars. Jason, bless him, can now take one look at my face, see the tears in my eyes, and know that I am about to say “My dad and I always came here” or “This is something my dad would love”.  I don’t have those moments as often with my Mimi, because she follows me in my grief, in my sorrow. She does not bind herself to places like the living but wraps her absence around my wrist like a leash. I always thought “I am not like the people I come from” and I will be the first to tell you, as an adult, how wrong I was. You believe yourself to be an individual completely separate from your paternal or maternal influences but I am at least 48.5% Lou Primak. My dad is the smell of really fucking good coffee and pine trees. He’s old leather briefcases and the ridges of a baseball glove. He’s learning to ride a bike and the first time I went to Seattle. My dad is a winter child, like me.

I have a few moms at the moment, so let me talk about that really quick. I have my biological mom, Violet. I have my stepmom, Heather. I have my god-mom, Tonya. I have other moms who have picked me up along the way, but these ones are the most prevalent in my everyday understanding of the world. My Mimi was also my mom but she’s gone now and crying was not the point of this post. Obviously, you know I’m blood-related to Violet so let’s discuss Heather and Tonya because they are prime examples of “The blood of the covenant”

Heather is my dad’s wife. They got married when I was, like, nine or ten. They gave me a brother –  Jackson, who looks like me in dude form and has more energy in his pinky finger than I do in my whole body.

Heather is autumn leaves, a river in the distance, a home cooked meal when you’ve been living off of Ramen. Heather is an ocean of creative energy, a new project, a summertime nap. She’s the moment when the season changes to autumn, the brief seconds between “then” and “now”. She is my kindred spirit, the whole reason I got into blogging and cooking and photography and crafting. She’s the driving force behind my ingenuity. She’s my model introvert; she showed me that being comfortable with yourself is what really makes us unique. So many people lack the ability to sit with themselves for an hour before they begin to hate it. I look at kids who have stepparents that they feel bitter towards or dislike and I can’t even begin to tell you how ignorant I am on that topic. I had someone who helped me through so many difficult areas of my life and still put up with my shit, even though she had no obligation to do so.

It’s one of those phenomena where you look at your life under a microscope and can say “Holy shit, thank you”

Tonya is my god-mother which means, if you haven’t a clue about Catholicism, that if everyone died, she would be my new mom. She has actually said at one point “If everyone dies, I get to be your new mom. I mean, I am your mom. But this would be, like legally. It’s on papers at the lawyer’s office”. She’s also said things like “If I ever heard someone talking to you like that, I would spider-monkey over the counter and rip their throat out.”

Tonya was my spirit guide in another life (more on that later) and she probably gave birth to me in another one, too. She’s a fucking badass and I feel quite a bit better when I’m in her presence. She has that calming, “All is well, child. I’ll fuck a bitch up” vibe going for her. Tonya is rose quartz on a living room table. She’s a cone of incense and smudging your home with sage. She’s a wildfire, a hurricane of kindness and honesty. She’s a Pride flag, bright and burning. She’s a tattoo needle, a patch sewn into your heart. She’s a leather jacket and a Johnny Cash shirt. I am not blood-related to Tonya, her dad was a firefighter with my Papa, but I would never be able to put a tangible amount on how much I love her.

In short, I am not doing a DNA test to find my genetic relatives. You know why? Cause fuck that. know who my family is. I refer to myself constantly as a “walking contradiction of impulsivity and contemplation” meaning I’m the type of person who moves on a whim but budgets for it, the type who decides to dye her hair black but waits a month, the kind who suddenly realizes that they need a motorcycle but sets up a piggy bank for it, the kind who thinks “I need a new tattoo” over twenty times a day but spends more time designing them than getting them. The kind who says “Fuck it, I’m doing a DNA test” but holds off for five weeks.

I am a pretty big believer in reincarnation. In fact, I would probably say that it encompasses most of my thoughts on the afterlife.  I don’t actually believe in an afterlife but I think most people are recycled into new things. I do, however, think that some of us don’t get more chances. Like, when Hitler died they were like “Bro, what the fuck? We were gonna make you a sunfish or some dumb shit so you could learn but you just kept going?! We’re gonna have to scrap you, this energy can’t go anywhere else. You piece of shit, what the fuck. We were able to recycle Pontius Pilate for fucks sake”

So, in my search of my DNA, I’m hoping to find pieces of me scattered amongst the globe. I’m hoping to put them together and maybe resurrect the story of my lungs, my hair, my eyes.

That’s all there is,

Carry on,

The Book Witch

 

 

 

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