The Accolade

I see the sword drop. Sun rays are reflected off the sleek metal. The intense light almost hurts my eyes. How many have seen the same image, and then never saw anything, ever again?

To me, the sword doesn’t mean death, at least not for now.  What it brings to me is knighthood; honour and glory. It taps me on the shoulder as a kind friend who wants to make me feel proud of myself. But somehow, I feel the opposite. I feel shame.

“Hail to our brave hero!”

The Lady smiles. Everyone cheers, but all I can hear are screams. My nostrils can still smell blood.

Hail to me! Hail to the hero who saved us all!
Hail to me! Hail to the murderer who murdered them all!

 

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Edmund Blair Leighton (1852 – 1922) – “The Accolade”

 

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Update + Teaching + Epic Awesomness Award

I didn’t have much time for blogging lately, and that’s because I started working. Bravo me! I’m an apprentice teacher in a school. This might sound confusing, but after finishing college, we have to work as apprentices for a year and then take a test to truly become teachers. College is apparently not enough. XD

Anyway, for now I mostly listen to my mentor teach and help her with some small things, but soon I’ll start giving my own lectures, grade tests etc. This would not be the first time I teach, since we had to do it in college, but there will be more of it, and with much more responsibility now. It feels a bit strange, I have to admit, especially since I feel more like a student than a teacher… (Even though my students are 11-15 years old.) The best thing is – I get payed, not much but for me it’s a lot – and that means that I will be able to buy ALL the books! Well, not all, but a lot. 😉

Now, for the real purpose of this post… I’ve been nominated for the Epic Awesomness Award by wonderful Aquileana (see her post HERE). You should all click on the link and visit her blog, especially if you’re interested in mythology! Once again, thank you, Aquileana, so much for the nomination. 🙂

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The rules are as follows:

1. You are awesome; tell us why.
2. You are my friend; tell us about other (blogger) friends.
3. Be creative, but it’s ok if you are having trouble with this one.
4. There are no direct questions to answer; let yourself run wild!
5. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
6. Notify your nominees.

And here are my answers:

1. I’m awesome because I won the Epic Awesomess Award, duh! The title says it. 😛 But, honestly now, I don’t often think of myself as being awesome… And then, sometimes, when I manage to do something that really scared me or was very hard, I do feel awesome. I hope I’ll feel that way after my teaching exam… XD

2. In my personal life, I don’t have many friends, but those I have are very important to me. As for the bloggers, I’ve met some great and interesting people here. When I started my blog, I had no expectations, and now I’m so happy I did it. I love writing posts and reading everything that you wonderful, creative people write. 🙂

3. I pride myself in being creative, but when someone tells me to be creative, I go completely blank. XD That’s one of the reasons why prompts rarely work for me. I see it and can’t think of anything interesting about it. I guess I just have to wait for my brain to work in its own pace. Which can be in most inappropriate times sometimes, mostly when I’m trying to fall asleep. I guess we have all experienced that. XD

4. For this one, I’ll just write down some things which I find awesome.

The sound of thunder when I’m safe in bed.
Walking under a large umbrella in the mild rain.
When my tea is just the perfect temperature.
When a book captures me and takes me away from the real world.
Beautiful swords, bows and arrows.
The colour black, and a warm grey.
Soft fabric and cuddly plushies.
Watching a good film with someone you love, somewhere cozy.
Waking up and knowing I don’t have to get up soon.

And bubble wrap! XD

And now for the nominations: Shyla Fairfax-Owen

You are great bloggers and you are awesome, so I thought the award was fitting. 🙂

 

Dragons again!

So, I’ve been nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award by paully1965. Since I was already nominated for this award recenty, it felt a bit strange to write another post… And I can’t think of that many facts about myself, honestly. XD I’m sorry… But I did want to give a shout-out to paully1965. His blog is great and I recommend you to at least have a look at it! You can also read his award post HERE and get to know him a little bit more.

Anyway, I’ll link my previous award post HERE, if anyone’s interested. And to make something out of this strange blog post, I’ll share some wonderful dragon art that I’ve stumbled upon on Deviantart.

Dragons are amazing, and so are these artists! Enjoy! 🙂

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Dragon’s Night by eronzki999 on Deviantart

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Mountain Priest by Eclectixx on Deviantart

Be Crazy to Be Kind (Theo’s perspective)

So, did you miss me? Do you want to know what’s happened since the last time we talked?

Maybe I should stop talking to myself. Narrating your own life cannot be healthy. But embracing the madness is sometimes just what you need.

Anyway, not much happened, except for that one important thing. And the fact that I’ve become a murderer.

First, let me say that Eric Leigh and I have agreed on a very simple plan. He wants to destroy the ministers, my father is one of them; I’ve got the information, he’s got the means.

“But why should I trust you?” he asked me. “Why would you want to destroy your own father?”

“I have a reason much purer than yours,” I replied. “I want revenge.”

Leigh smiled knowingly. He decided to trust me.

It won’t be possible to realize the plan soon, but it isn’t hard for me to wait. I’ve never been of the impulsive kind. I felt calm, for the first time in months. But with a father like mine, I should’ve known I was not supposed to feel that lucky.

I came home yesterday, and wanted to see my sister. Alexandra had told me the day before that she was in love with Ryder Thorne, a self-proclaimed rock star and a completely unreliable guy if you ask me, and I hadn’t reacted well. I wanted to apologize to her. Even if she’s making a mistake, it’s her mistake to make. I shouldn’t treat her like father does, and keep her locked up at home.

I went to Alex’s room and knocked. She wasn’t there. If she had gone out, she would’ve told me, so that I could cover for her and make sure father didn’t notice. I started to fear that she was too angry at me to ask for help. I decided to wait in the living room and hoped she would arrive soon. As I was passing though the hallway, father appeared and got in my way.

“If you’re looking for Alexandra, she’s not here,” he said without being asked. He was proud of his words. He wanted me to know what had happened.

“What have you done?” I started to panic.

“She’s with her fiancé. I told him to take her with him.”

I felt a strong urge to grab him by the neck and squeeze. But I didn’t have the time for that.

“How did you convince her to go,” I hissed.

“Tybolt is much stronger than our little Alex. What could she do? You see, things always go the way I want them to. Alexandra is going to marry the man I want her to marry.”

“She’s your daughter! And she hates Tybolt!” I screamed. “You will suffer for this!”

I ran out of the house. I knew exactly what to do, but I needed help. Tybolt had guards, just like the rest of so-called important people in this horrid city. There was no one I could trust, except maybe one person. A person who, supposedly, loved my sister.

Ryder Thorne was shocked to see me at his door.

He lived alone, in an apartment that was actually only a room. But I had to put my feelings aside and act.

“It’s about Alex,” I said.

“Look, Theo, I really care for her. You don’t have to worry…”

“If you’re telling the truth, you’ll help me save her, even if it’s dangerous.”

“Save her!? What’s going on?”

It seems that Ryder does love my sister. When I gave him a gun, his hand trembled. I was glad to notice that, it meant that he wasn’t dangerous, and at the same time it meant that I would be able to hurt him if needed. Anyway, we went to Tybolt’s house. Everything happened so fast, and it’s hard for me to remember the details. Ryder was supposed to get caught breaking in. The guard who stood at the entrance took him in, to inform his employer. I waited for a few minutes, and managed to get into the house easily. I followed the voices to the room where Tybolt was, with my sister. Alex remained calm. She was trying to convince Tybolt to let Ryder go. It was time for me to do what I came to do. With fingers clenched tightly around the handle of my gun, I broke into the room.

All the thoughts disappeared from my mind. I heard myself say: Let my sister go! And I heard Tybolt laugh. I saw Alex’s eyes begging me to leave. I noticed Ryder’s confusion; he wanted me to tell him what to do next. I fired. The guard fell to the floor.

“I told you I’d kill you if you even think of touching her!” I said, pointing my gun to Tybolt.

“Theo, please, let’s just talk,” he was scared, and I loved it. The power was in my hands and it felt liberating.

“Get on the floor!” I ordered.

Tybolt kneeled like a puppet whose strings I could pull as it pleased me. I could just take Alex and go, but Tybolt would want to cure his wounded pride. I had just killed a man and witnesses meant trouble. Also, I really wanted to do it. I fired again. It was easier than you would think.

I looked at Alex and found her confused and terrified. I always wanted to protect her from everything, but I never knew I would one day have to protect her from myself. I had to fix the situation, but I needed time.

“Take her with you,” I said to the frightened Ryder Thorne. “I’ll come for her tomorrow, but you have to make sure she’s safe until then.”

He nodded, but couldn’t say a word. He embraced Alex and they remained motionless for a while. United.

I had to let Alex go with Ryder until I talk to Eric Leigh. Only he could help me and I hoped he would. After all, he needed me. I couldn’t wait for the morning to come and now that it’s here I am without words. What am I supposed to say to Leigh? How to even begin a conversation like this?


To read the previous story from Theo’s perspective click HERE.

And here are the links to stories about other characters for the city of Cyron: Alexandra  Celestine  Gideon

 

Learning and Thinking with the Help of Fiction

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I’ve recently read two really great books and I wanted to mention them on my blog, so, in the end, I decided the best thing to do was to talk about them together. After all, they have something in common.

The first book is Honour by Elif Shafak, which I already mentioned in an award post. The book actually deals with quite a lot of topics, but the central theme is an honour murder about which the reader learnes in the first chapter and is held in the grip of its imminence. The novel depicts everything that lead to the murder, for the most part the way of life in Kurdish villlages in Turkey, and all that followed. Since certain characters leave Turkey for London, it also explores the issues of living in a culture different than your own and the danger of being influenced by extremists. This is presented in a way which doesn’t propagate anything, but only opens the door of understanding and gives the reader something to think about. The story is spread through three generations, and it follows multiple points of view, but it never gets confusing. The characters seem very real, and the language is gorgeous. Even though the main event of the novel is an honour murder, and at points it gets very sad, the reader cannot help but notice just how beautifully Elif Shafak writes. And even though the novel is sad, I didn’t find it depressing – in the end, it’s even hopeful. After reading it, I immediately decided that I would read more of Shafak’s novels in the future.

The other book I want to talk about is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This one is, I think, quite well-known. The novel follows two Nigerian characters, Ifemelu and Obinze, and is at first sight a love story. Except that it is not really a love story. The book deals with immigration, culture, social classes, and most of all with the issue of race. In comparison to Honour, which touches on similar topics, Americanah is much more factual, especially the parts presented through Ifemelu’s point of view since, after moving to USA, she starts a blog about her experiences as a “Non-American Black”, as she puts it.  A lot can be learned about Nigeria from this book, just like Honour gives an insight of rural Turkey. And just as in Honour, the characters in Americanah are very real and believable. Even though both books were a pleasure to read, they also made me think and taught me a lot. And isn’t that the best combination one could wish for?

Even though I liked Honour a little bit more, I’m aware that’s just a case of personal preference, and I would recommend both books with equal vigour. But most of all, I would recommend reading books about the issues or cultures you may not be as familiar with. There are so many books like that out there. I can add another example – The Golem and the Djinni, a book about which I wrote before. (see the post HERE)

Learn about the world you live in as much as you can! Happy reading! 🙂

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

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So, I’ve been nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty award by Simon (you can read his post HERE). Once again, thank you for the nomination! And dear bloggers, do give Simon’s blog a look, he’s really great! 🙂

Anyway, the rules are:

•Display the award on your blog.
•Announce your win with a post and link the blogger who nominated you.
•Present 6 deserving bloggers with the award.
•Link your awardees in the post.
•Write 7 interesting things about you.

I’ve recently posted some facts about me in my Liebster Award post, so now I’ll try to think of different ones.

  1. I dye my hair red, which is quite convenient if you look at the award picture. XD
  2. I love dragons! (also convenient)
  3. My favourite video game is Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. I liked vampires before it was cool. 😛
  4. I like everything creepy, even a bit disturbing, and everything cute. So, on my bookshelves you can find creepy books and plush toys one next to the other.
  5. I’m really interested in mythology. Greek, Norse, Celtic, everything!
  6. I’m fascinated my the Middle Ages for some reason. I really can’t explain why, not even to myself, but I’m just very interested in that time period. XD
  7. The last book I’ve read is Honour by Elif Shafak and it was great!

Now, to the nominees! Once again, I’ll nominate some people I have never nominated before, and then felt sorry afterwards…

My nominees are: AquileanaSvegliati Cara, Porter GirlFifty words daily,  The Passionate ShepherdRedHeadedBookLover.

Don’t feel obligated to do this, but just know that I think you deserve it 🙂

Hoping For Snow

“I really wish it snowed this winter.” That is a sentence I repeat every year. Why? Because it almost never snows in my town, so when it does everyone becomes a child and goes out to play. Everything stops. Yes, it’s hard for people to go to work, the roads get icy and the traffic barely works at all, and people start falling down like apples from a tree, but still, I selfishly hope for snow. And since December is here, and winter is on its way, I wanted to write a post about it. Because, why not?

I live in Split (yes, I know it sounds silly in English), in the coastal part of Croatia. Now, if you google Split, you’ll see something like this:

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Sea, sunshine, palm trees (which are not actually native but we have them here since forever and they have become our trademark), and no hope for a snowy day. However, a few years ago we did get a lot of snow (at least for us it was a lot). And for me, it was amazing! Please, don’t think I’m complaining about the sunshine and warmth, but sometimes you just want something you don’t usually have. For me, snow is exciting. And pretty. This is how a park in my neighbourhood looked like (notice the palm trees again):

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And the centre of the city:

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Palm tree: “What, in the name of the tropical gods, is this?”

So, yes, we are never prepared for snow, but that’s what’s so nice about it. This post is a bit unusual for this blog, I guess, but I really wanted to post something “wintery”. Hope you’ll have a nice winter, even if you don’t like the season at all. In that case, well, after winter always comes spring. 🙂

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“Aren’t we cute like this?” 🙂