Another Superhero Dream

I finally had a dream last night; it had been a while!  Maybe it’s because I’ve started updating a bit more frequently, so my subconscious decided, well, she’s willing to talk again–let’s give her something to talk about.  (I ❤ my subconscious.)

First of all, I don’t know where I was; and like certain other of my dreams, I wasn’t really me, I just looked like me.  And my dad looked like my dad, too, but wasn’t him, either.

We were in some large city where superheroes were…not exactly common, but people weren’t all like, “OMGSUPERMANLIVESHERE!”  (Superman was not in my dream; that was just an example.)  Basically, just the way people act in any fictional town where one or more superheroes reside; normal, except for that.

But where there are superheroes, there are also supervillains.

There was one superhero (and I’m not even sure if he was the only one) who had…turned bad.  I don’t know what all of his powers were (which didn’t change when he turned, he just used them differently), but I do know that he was able to see people’s souls.  He could see things about them that they sometimes didn’t know about themselves.  He could tell if there was evil inside them, or whatnot.  I guess he had a whole method worked out of reading and interpreting what he saw.  And he could see people’s souls in other rooms, through walls…basically, it worked like night vision, I think.  I’m not sure what turned him bad (although I could write a story based on this guy…I think I want to now, so I’ll be making up these details I’m unsure about), but he’d been using his powers for evil for a few years.  It was common knowledge that when you saw this guy’s superhero uniform (his identity was, of course, not known)…you could run, but you probably wouldn’t survive.

He ate souls–which, in turn, killed people.  I guess it was kind of like a vampire, in that he had that dark, mysterious sexiness about him while he was killing…or, perhaps more accurately (except sans the sexy part), like a Dementor–he basically sucked people’s souls out of their mouths.  This is not something he did when he was good–it’s just one of the things that changed about him when he became evil.

Now I’m this quiet, innocent little thing…I think perhaps I was a bit younger than I am now, more innocent and naive or something…well, I guess I really must have been, because…well, you’ll see.

So my father, the mad (evil?–undetermined) scientist, worked for the government, coming up with new weapons.

He had just invented this bug-like thing that looked like a bug when it was moving (it looked just like that weird bug I saw at work last night while I was cleaning–some sort of fly/bee combo)…but when it was resting, it folded its wings over itself, was completely still, and looked exactly like an M&M.  All different colors–even pinks!  These M&M bugs ate human flesh.  (This probably has something to do with the fact that I just passed the Knockturn Alley part of CoS yesterday, when Hagrid was looking for Flesh-Eating Slug repellant.)  Not only flesh, but…they basically ate everything…all the way through, until there was merely a bit of shell left over.  And they had just been tested on some guy who had killed his wife…and it was pretty gruesome….  (But it didn’t seem to affect my father at all, as he scooped the bugs into a Ziploc bag–I guess they worked on command?–and sealed it, screaming, “It works; it works!!!”)

It was nighttime, very dark, and I was to help destroy this superhero who had become his own supervillain.  It was known that he hung around this big ex-office building (he’d seen to its undoing, I guess so he’d have a lair) downtown, and my dad and I were driving there.  For some reason, he was sending me off by myself to find this creep, armed with this little bag of M&M bugs.

For my part, I didn’t want to kill him, and I was repulsed by the idea of killing anyone in such a way…but my dad kept reminding me that it was my civic duty.  (I’m not exactly sure what he was doing, but it seems that, in the dream, he really did have something equally important he was doing–maybe we just split up and he had his own bag and it was just whoever found the guy first…I dunno.)

So I started creeping around, and I’m on the outside of this building, where there are lots and lots of windows, and I’m assuming he’s just going to jump out of one, so I’m a bit nervous…but more than fear, all I feel is regret for what I know I have to do.  And I’m walking along…slowly…slowly…trying to reach the edge of the building, where I’m just going to turn the corner and creep along the back wall–alone.

I don’t know what exactly I expect to find–probably him in his costume (which looked oddly like a cross between Spider-Man and Strong Bad…hmm), feeding on some unsuspecting soul.

Well, I reach the edge of the building, and there’s a short hand rail stretching back into the woods, and I figure I’m going to climb over it, when I step forward, and somebody else steps forward from around the corner.

For some reason, it’s Clive Owen.  (The last time I saw him in anything was Closer, but that was about two weeks ago.  Hmmm.)

He looks…well, really hot (it’s Clive Owen, I mean…come on).  But he’s not in the Strong Bad costume–he was wearing a long-sleeved bluish shirt (I think Crayola might call it “cornflower” or “midnight blue”–been a while since I opened a box of those) and jeans and just brown shoes, and he seems…relatively normal, so I just say, a bit calmly, “Oh–hello.”

He just…stares at me for a moment, and finally says slowly, “Who are you?”

I guess I gave him a name.  I’m not really sure.  I just remember him staring, in all his hotness.

Turns out (and I don’t know if he told me this or if I just…knew it) he was the guy I was looking for, just not currently in costume, and he’d been creeping along the other side of the building, because he’d…spotted my soul…creepy…and was following along beside me so he could spring out and…I guess eat me.

But as he was following along, he was staring at my soul and thinking, against his will almost, without even really realizing it…that there was something so absolutely lovely and pure about it (shut up, guys, I already told you it wasn’t really me) that he just knew he wanted to get closer…and the closer he got, the more entranced he became by this complete innocence I must have been radiating.  (Perhaps this comes from my joke to Steve last night, while putting away the basket that held the taco shells, that I always felt like Little Red Riding Hood carrying it.)

Anyway…he just became so entranced by my “innocence” that it completely washed over him and changed him back–but not immediately–he was very cautious at first, not exactly sure what was going on (maybe he didn’t know anything was going on)…and…I’ve got to go to class in a minute, that’s why I’m rushing along here.  I think there may have been a lot more to it but it’s time to go.

Review of “The Mysteries” by Lisa Tuttle

I’ve always been obsessed with faerie tales, but ever since I read Tolkien’s novella, Smith of Wootton Major, I have also been obsessed with the land of Faerie (or Faery).  Not the little winged, insect-type faeries.  Not Tinker Bell.  But Faeries, as in the inhabitants of Faerieland.  I completely lapped up the miniseries Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (though I have yet to get my hands on the book) and am seeking more like it.

I’ve spent the last few days sick and reading this really cool book called The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle–an American who relocated to Scotland.

I wasn’t originally going to get a book.  I had strong convictions when I entered the library (“Don’t get a book!  You have stacks of books already!  You don’t need any more!”) but my dad took a lot longer than I did picking out the CDs he wanted, so there was nothing else for it than to go study the books.  And sure, I picked several up, but I had the willpower to put them back down again—until this one.  The title, and the Celtic-looking…thing…on the spine…well, I had to find out what that was.

The first thing I noticed on the cover was the enlarged picture from the spine…what appeared to be a door in a stone wall.  Underneath was the teaser:  “What happens when someone vanishes without a trace?”  At the very top, a promotional quote from Dean Koontz:  “A thriller, detective story, and fantasy all in one.  A winner!”

I knew I had to read this book.

Even so, I’d sworn I wasn’t going to get anything, so I opened the inside cover to read more about it and to see if it could wait.

It couldn’t.  I read things about this private investigator living in London, an obscure Celtic myth, a journey into the Highlands of Scotland, and a line that taunted me with “a door from one world into the heart of another”.  There was no parting with this book.

I looked up, startled, to see that my dad was already at the checkout—I’d already checked out, myself!  And there was a line of five people behind him!  And the library was closing in five minutes!

I went running, ducking under two ropes, and tossed the book on the counter, just in time.  “Get this!” I panted.  “Get it; I have to read it!”

The whole book is about a girl who disappeared, presumably to Faerieland.  And I like the author’s style in drawing your involvement and belief in her story—because, as it is about an investigator of missing people, she peppers the story with other odd accounts of missing people, each in their own 2- or 3-page chapters.  Each of these separate stories gets stranger and more difficult to believe—but she doesn’t feed them to you until you’re far enough along in her main story so that there is a plausible explanation for them—these people were carried off by Faeries, these human-like denizens of an Otherworld, which can sometimes be traveled to from our own.

I had a feeling, while reading these shorter stories, that all of them were true, or at least believed to be true, here in our own world…so I followed this feeling to the internet, where I Googled the names of some of these people.  Again and again, I got results, and plenty of them, with stories of these people that perfectly corroborated the ones in the book.  These stories were all true—at least, they were real legends, and not made up by the author.  She had essentially crafted her story around these real stories of missing people and involvements with Faeries.

It was exactly what I needed while trying to get well.

Secrets Internalized

I recently referenced a story I am currently writing that takes place within the world of Harry Potter.  You can now read the beginning of it for free here or here.  (I recommend the first one since the second didn’t let me keep my formatting.)  It’s still a WIP (work in progress) so I’ll be adding to it as I go along.

Secrets Internalized is a short story about a smart and ambitious girl in a war-torn country who gets an internship with a major news organization and immediately begins suffering abuse at the hands of her evil supervisor.  She discovers that an old friend from school is hanging around some shady folks and decides to follow the lead, stumbling upon a terrorist plot and putting herself in increasingly more dangerous situations as she gets more and more deeply involved in her determination to rise above her evil boss.

It’s also fan-fiction.  So if that’s your thing, maybe you’ll dig it.

My “original” main character is pretty much Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars, set in the 1981 Wizarding world (months before the Potter murders).  Here, I have this cool fan art my friend made me to prove it:

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I’ll give you one paragraph here so you can see the writing style, but you can see everything that’s currently available by following the links above.  Please enjoy:

1 August, 1965.

Beneath a thin crescent moon on the coast of Fylde, all was still but for the gentle waves lapping against the shore and a breeze that whispered of rain.  Great clouds loomed over the sea, shrouding even the stubbornest of stars.  It might have been impossible to see clearly on such a night on another beach, but this beach happened to be home to a very popular amusement park.  Dazzling lights from the roller coasters and Ferris wheel blazed and stretched their way down the coastline for nearly two miles.  It was precisely here, where the lights from the park met the edge of darkness, that a short, porcine man by the name of Mr. Niles Smudgeworth stood waiting.

 

 

Inside the Daily Prophet

I have to share this site I discovered.  It’s called myNoise and it lets you play ambient sounds to help you focus or relax or whatever you want.  There are so many different sounds available and you can combine them to make new ones!

Last night I was trying to write a scene that takes place inside the Daily Prophet, and I went to this site to find something to help me focus.  I used three different sounds to basically create the inside of the Daily Prophet.

First I took Cafe/Restaurant and turned down all the clinking dishes and all other noises but the voices.

I then added Factory (or Industrial Revolution–it seems to have two names) to add the sounds of a printing press.

Lastly, I added Fireworks and turned most of them down to low, sporadic blasts, to give the illusion of wands occasionally producing spells.

It’s so perfect.  Exactly what I would expect that environment to sound like.  I’m never writing without this site again!  I’m going to continue creating environments for every scene I want to write.  I highly recommend this to every writer and will definitely be donating in the future.

A Hundred Thousand Javottes

I finished Les Miserables last night, and now I’m experiencing withdrawals.  I want somebody to discuss it with, but nobody has read it…and I’d recommend it to you all right now, but I know not one of you will listen to me and go and read it, because it’s so long and who has time for that and yada yada yada.  I know.  Just for the record, though…it’s an amazing book.

Anyway, to say good-bye, I’ve got just a few more closing quotes.  *tear*

p. 1342:  “’By the hundred thousand Javottes of the devil, those brigands assassinated him!’  ‘Who, monsieur?’  ‘Andre Chenier!’”

That one will only make sense to you if you read the book.  Not even the movie or the play would do it for you for this one.  But I can look back on it and laugh.

p. 1368:  “Everything can be parodied, even parody.”

And that’s it.  I miss it already.

A Little in Love with Les Miserables

A Les Miserables quote to begin with….

p. 1144: “And then, do you know, Monsieur Marius, I believe I was a little in love with you.”

I stopped here and just wept.  Perhaps it was a bad idea for me to read this book…but it’s still really good.

On a different subject, there was some sort of jazz thing at UNF tonight, so we had all these groups of kids (middle- and high-schoolers) from out of town; we opened the café for them 15 minutes early.  And then they went crazy.  There were no lines; they came at us from all directions—we were completely surrounded!  This lasted for about an hour, and then it was rush o’clock, so we never really slowed down until about 7:20.  Bloody hell.

At one point, a couple of high school boys came through the line, laughing, poking each other, and saying, “Hi, Ginny, what’s up?” and, “Hey, Ginny, how are you doing tonight?”

They asked for the tater tots, and then one of them, apparently with the intention of looking all macho, said, “Y’know, I would be in college now, but I failed a year.”

“That’s a shame,” I replied.  What the hell did he expect me to say to that?  Was I supposed to be impressed?  Sorry, bud…it didn’t work.

Today in American History, I was falling asleep, until I heard my teacher say, “The Wizard of Oz,” and then I snapped back to attention immediately.  I don’t exactly know why; perhaps because I found it so coincidental that she mentioned it, when it had actually popped into my head for no reason at the beginning of class.

So we’re discussing how the whole series is a bunch of Populist propaganda, and she says, “…And you know how there was the Lollipop League, and the…something Guild….”

She looked around the room expectantly, waiting for somebody to give her the answer.  Nobody said anything, which shocked me, as this is a big class…and then she looked at me, and held my gaze for a moment, apparently sensing a gleam of understanding or something in my eyes, so I said, “Well, actually…it’s the Lollipop Guild and the Lullaby League.”

There was a silence as every eye in the room focused on me.  My teacher said, “Yes, that’s it, Ginny, thank you,” and a couple of people applauded, so I, of course, bowed graciously.  For the rest of that conversation, whenever there was a question about anything, everyone again turned to me for my confirmation.  I was very amused.

Nothing else really of interest took place today; I’ve gotten farther in the book, and am going to attempt to make the 200-pages-or-less mark before I go to bed, so I reckon I’ll just close tonight with one more quote.

p. 1230-1231:  “And, laying a pistol on the table, he added, ‘The last man to leave this room will blow out the spy’s brains!’  … At this point, Jean Valjean appeared.  He was among the insurgents.  He stepped forward, and said to Enjolras, ‘You are the commander?’

‘Yes.’

‘You thanked me just now.’

‘In the name of the Republic.  The barricade has two saviors, Marius Pontmercy and you.’

‘Do you think I deserve a reward?’

‘Certainly.’

‘Well, I have one to ask.’

‘What?’

‘To blow out that man’s brains myself.’”

I actually laughed out loud at this quote…hard.  You just…wouldn’t understand, without reading the book.  Or seeing the movie or the play or something.  I don’t often laugh out loud while I’m reading, but this is one of the funniest lines I ever recall reading in a novel.  I guess because I’ve been with it for so long now.

Just Some Quotes

I have some quotes from Les Mis today.  I’ve gotten much farther recently–a little less than half the book to go.  I’m trying to do 100 pages a day.

p. 693:  “…Were it given to our human eye to see into the consciences of others, we would judge a man much more surely from what he dreams than from what he thinks.

p. 717:  “Fever supports the sick man, and love the lover.”

p. 730:  “What is there that’s cheap now?  Everything’s expensive.  People’s troubles, that’s all that’s cheap.  That’s free, people’s troubles.”

p. 838:  “God makes his will visible to men in events, an obscure text written in a mysterious language.  Men make their translations of it instantly; hasty translations, incorrect, full of mistakes, omissions, and misreadings.  Very few minds understand the divine language.  The wisest and calmest, the most profound, decipher slowly, and, when they arrive with their text, the need has long since gone by; there are already twenty translations in the public square.  From each translation a party is born, and from each misreading a faction; and each party believes it has the only true text, and each faction believes it possesses the light.  …Often the government itself is a faction.”

An excellent view on religion, I thought.

This is probably the last perfume update for a while since I’m out of samples:

  • Versace Bright Crystal
  • Calvin Klein Euphoria
  • Lancome La Vie Est Belle
  • Jo Malone London Mimosa & Cardamom
  • Michael Kors Sexy Amber
  • Michael Kors 24K Brilliant Gold
  • Michael Kors Glam Jasmine
  • Marc Jacobs Decadence
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh
  • Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet – When I closed my eyes and smelled this one for the first time, I had instant mental images of white tablecloths, crystal chandeliers, a tuxedoed live band, and the word “elegant”.  Unfortunately, this scent does not appear to be available in an EDP and did not last very long.  It lasted longer than either of the Ralph Lauren scents, however.
  • Miss Dior Eau de Toilette
  • Miss Dior Eau de Parfum
  • Chanel Chance
  • Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
  • My Burberry
  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
  • Elizabeth Arden Untold
  • Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu
  • Modern Muse Le Rouge
  • Vince Camuto Capri – I really liked this one.  It was calming and lasted most of the day.  It described itself as a “cool breeze off the Mediterranean Sea”, and I felt like I could visualize that when I smelled it.
  • Thierry Mugler Alien – I thought I would like this one seeing as it was made up of pretty much all things I enjoy, but maybe I just didn’t like the way they went together?  Something about it was too strong and off-putting, and the thought that crossed my mind was that it was just too “adult” for me somehow.  Long-lasting, though.  I won’t be trying it again, for sure.
  • Ralph Lauren Romance – I actually really liked the scent, but it only lasted for about an hour.  Maybe the concentration was just too low?  But whatever the problem was, I can’t choose as a signature scent something that I’m going to have to reapply several times throughout the day.  That’s not simple enough for me.
  • Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance – Not a fan.  It was too sickeningly sweet and also only lasted around an hour (thank goodness).
  • Jimmy Choo Illicit – Another one I liked but that didn’t last long enough for me to give it another shot.