New York Times “By the Book” Tag

I haven’t done a fun book tag in a while, and I’ve come across this one (among others) many times and thought: Well, this one sounds fun. So I finally decided to do it. J The tag was originally created by booktuber Mary Berg.

So, let’s get to the questions!

What book is on your night stand now?

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and I’m almost finished with it. It’s really fun! There’s also Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon, a double biography of the two wonderful Marys. I love them both, and I love the book as well.

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What was the last truly great book that you read?

The Vegetarian by Han Kang! I loved that book! It’s so beautifully written, and it’s very methapohorical, it almost feels like reading poetry.

But I also want to mention Alice by Christina Henry, for entirely different reasons. This retelling of Alice in Wonderland is truly disturbing, violent and bloody, but so sooo interesting. I love how Christina Henry deals with the characters, and makes entirely different stories for them, but they still have some of the essence of the original characters.

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What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

I don’t think anything’s too surprising… I read different kinds of books, and I think I talk about different kinds of books here on the blog. But I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I really like superheroes, so maybe you wouldn’t expect me to own some comics. Spider-man is my favourite.🙂

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How do you organize your personal library?

In a way only I understand, and is impossible to explain.😄 But I know exactly where every book is, so it seems it works well.

What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut, a book I’ve wanted to read for so many years… I would actually like to read more Vonnegut in general. But I’m also quite embarrassed that I don’t read almost any contemporary Croatian authors, and I’m from Croatia. I definitely should…

What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I actually like to read different things, depending on my current mood. Classics are always a go-to when I’m not sure what to read next, and I like to read about history. I’m also drawn to magic, in its different shapes and forms. And I like to read about different cultures… So, when I think about it, I guess I like to read about anything that I can’t experience myself, anything different and unknown.

The only thing I don’t read are contemporary romances. I just don’t find them interesting… Romance is fine as a part of the story, but I don’t like it to be the entire story.

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? 

That’s an interesting question.😄 I don’t really like our (Croatian) president. (Sorry, not sorry.) She should read something nice and heart-warming, maybe something about a different culture, to make her more open-minded. For example A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. That’s such a beautiful, sad book… Or, if I was feeling mean, I’d give her something really, really boring to read.😉

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What do you plan to read next?

I’ll probably continue with the Shades of Magic series, and after that – who knows! I don’t usually plan ahead, it’s best to read the books you’re in the mood for. And who knows what mood I’m going to be in after A Gathering of Shadows.😄

And that’s it! Since I wasn’t tagged to do this, I won’t tag anyone, but if the questions seem interesting to you, I’d like to hear your answers. 🙂

The Climb

Yes, I’ve been neglecting my blog for some time… The beginning of the school year is hard for teachers, too. 😄 Anyway, here’s something unpolished, a part of something I’ve been working on. I like this little detail about one of my characters. Meet Bastian! 😉


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If the door is impenetrable, there’s always a window to use.

That became some sort of a motto for Bastian. Climbing the walls was something he was very good at. It took him some years to become an expert, but he flattered himself that he had a natural talent for it.

The walls on the house were made of white stone, which was fashionable among rich people. Unfortunately, the stone was not left crude. It was completely smooth. Impossible to climb. Rich people liked everything to look sleek. There were no pipes or drains on the building’s facade. There were, however, large windows on the ground floor, because bright rooms were also fashionable. Those windows made of impenetrable glass, and connected to an alarm. They were, also, climbable.

Bastian first stepped on the bottom edge of the window. The windows had frames, also made of white stone, and were richly ornamented. The frame was quite narrow, but Bastian was good at keeping his balance. He was also tall. Just barely, he was able to reach the upper edge of the frame. As he held the frame firmly, he put his feet on the side of the frame and cautiously climbed up, pressing his feet at the frame and walking horizontally. Soon, he was standing on the upper edge of the frame, feeling proud of himself.

Who else could pull this off, eh?

He now had to reach for the first floor window, which was also huge, and quite far away. The difficult thing was not falling off the narrow edge. Bastian learned how to be careful. He was doing this for years. He started with simple houses in poorer neighbourhoods, and then gave himself bigger and bigger challenges. He was only caught once, when he was fifteen, to his parents’ great embarrassment. He didn’t actually steal anything, so they just had to pay a fine for his breaking in. It helped that they were influential people.

The window proved easy to open. The family wasn’t expecting anyone to break in though this window. It didn’t even have an alarm. Bastian entered the house. He was swept by the feeling of accomplishment. He still wasn’t sure how this unusual hobby came to his mind. Why did he love to break into random houses? Partially, because it was a challenge. He also liked that it was completely illegal. Breaking the rules made him feel strong.

Well, I’m done here. Off to my next stop.


Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

The Message

#MiracleChallenge : Week – 10

( http://wp.me/p7uUNQ-2lA )

Challenge No : 5

Write a Tiny Tale /Poem using below prompt image in 5 or less sentences(for tale) and 5 or less lines(for poem)

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He came back home, exhausted. It was late, and she was probably already asleep since she had to go to work early in the morning.

He cursed his life, but then, suddenly, his mood changed. His heart warmed up as he noticed that she had left a message on the table, using his childhood toys. Smile, her message said, and he did smile, remembering why life was not so bad after all.

Fluffy’s Escape

#MiracleChallenge : Week – 9

Challenge No : 5

Write a Tiny Tale /Poem/ Haiku/ Senryu using below prompt image in 5 or less sentences(for tale) and 5 or less lines(for poem)

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Kids grow up, and then what happens to teddy bears? Fluffy didn’t want to find out, so he broke the laws of his people and started to run.

He ran as fast as he could, until he reached a perfect place to rest, a bench in a park which was painted with the colours of autumn. As sunlight embraced him for the first time in his life, Fluffy felt free.

He would never be somebody’s toy.

A Visitor

#MiracleChallenge : Week – 7

Challenge No : 4

Write a Story/ Poem using Prompt Theme – A VISITOR

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Celestine was home alone, and she found it soothing. She filled a cup with coffee and made herself cosy, sitting sideways and lifting her legs over the curved arm of the sofa. She took a sip from the little cup and felt a cloud of peace envelop her. The tapping of the rain was the only sound that could be heard. This was exactly what she needed.

Suddenly, the door rang. It sounded like a scream, too loud in the soft quiet of the room.
Who could it be? Celestine’s husband was on a meeting and her sons had just recently left the house. There was no way they could be back so soon.
Celestine approached the door with caution. She didn’t know why, but she felt uneasy. Something wasn’t as it should be.

“Who is it?” she asked but no answer came.

Why did she give a day off to Bertha? Her kind servant would’ve made her less anxious, and she would be the one to open the door.

“Who is it?” Celestine asked again.

“Your old friend,” a male voice said, a voice she couldn’t quite place, but it evoked even more fear. Fear she couldn’t explain.

Celestine finally decided to open the door. She gasped. The first thing she saw were glowing, silver strands of hair. Though wet from the rain, they looked soft and beautiful. Celestine knew immediately who the man on her doorstep was, and she couldn’t believe it.

“You won’t invite me in?” the unexpected visitor said.

Celestine was too stupefied to do or say anything, and she didn’t stop the man when he walked through the door. He went straight to the living room and she, as if suddenly awakened, ran after him.

“Eric…” she spoke, his name the only word she could utter.

“My darling Celestine,” he faced her with a wide smile.

She could now see his face well, and she found it unchanged. How could that be? He looked just the same when she last saw him, and that was almost twenty years ago. She couldn’t find a single trace of aging. His face was the same as the day she put a bullet to his chest.

“How can this be?” she asked herself.

“You know I’m hard to kill,” he was still smiling.

“But you… You haven’t changed…”

“I come from where the magic is, dear Celestine. I told you so many times, magic exists and it is there for the taking, only if you dare to do it.”

“I don’t want to take part in anything like that!” fear was threatening to overcome her, but Celestine stood strong.

“I know that,” Eric’s smile became a smirk. “You’ve proven to be quite untrustworthy. I’m not here for you, anyway.”

“Then what do you want?”

“I want my son.”

Celestine’s mind immediately produced a picture of her older son and his silver hair, the same as Eric’s. The son who never acted like a part of the family, who always searched for something else, something different. The son in whose eyes gleamed a dark spark of magic.

“What are you talking about?” it was best to act stupid, she decided.

“I know he’s mine. And you and your husband know that as well.”

“He’s not yours!” Celestine cried out.

“Well, consider yourself warned. He will learn the truth and you can do nothing to prevent it.”

He smiled again, and this time his smile was eerie. Evil.
Celestine didn’t even realize he left her house. She stood, petrified, unable to accept what had just happened. They fought magic and now it came to fight them back.


Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Miracle Challenge: Legs and Tails

#MiracleChallenge : Week – 6

Challenge No : 5

Write a Tiny Tale /Poem/ Haiku using below prompt image in 5 or less sentences(for tale) and 5 or less lines(for poem)

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Mermaids wish for legs, girls wish for tails. Everybody wants what they cannot have. But sometimes, just sometimes, the unthinkable comes true.

Sadly, truth is not a fairy tale, others don’t live their lives as it seems. Mermaids learn soon that princes can be mean, and girls drown, grasping for air, realizing it’s too hard to always swim, and swim.


So, this is my first time participating in the #MiracleChallenge, and I hope I did it right. 😄 It was certainly fun, loved the prompt image. 🙂

It Would Come at Night…

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It would come at night and steal children. It would sneak into our village and into our homes, no matter what we did to prevent it. Somehow, it would always find a way. We sent people to the woods, on a hunt, almost every night. Nothing was ever caught or even seen.

But in the end, every it turns out to be a human.

They dragged our neighbour, Mr Hal, out into the street. He was on the ground, on his knees, making a manic laughing noise. My parents didn’t want to tell me what had happened, but I knew what all the blood meant. His hands were dark red, and they dripped on his clothes. His mouth was red, too. He was it. They caught him. They didn’t let us children enter his home, but I was disgusted nonetheless. I couldn’t help but imagine it all, his teeth tearing apart the body of Mrs Alanna’s baby, and many babies before. A cannibal among us. A baby-eater.

“Where are the bodies of other children?” a man screamed at Mr Hal.

“How did you get into our homes?” another shouted.

They wanted answers. Without them, they felt even more wounded, helpless. Could one of us really be the monster we feared?  Everyone was too disturbed to pay attention to me, so I managed to get closer. Mr Hal laughed at the questions, his eyes darkened by a glow of insanity. How was he able to trick us all, to hide his true face?

“Where are the remains of our children?” a woman cried.

For a moment, Mr Hal’s eyes cleared, his face turned pale.

“I don’t know,” he growled. “I only killed one!”

“You’re lying!” a man kicked him hard and Mr Hal fell to the ground.

The village justice was quick. One of the women who lost a child was the first to throw a stone. Another followed. Mr Hal laughed and laughed, until he stopped – forever.

The night came and we all went to our homes in silence. Nobody wanted to speak about what had happened. The monster was gone but we knew would not be able to sleep. I went to my room, got into the bed, but kept looking through the window. A dark feeling pressed my chest and didn’t let me fall asleep. I looked at the small hills through my window, at the trees and the woods. I looked until it seemed to me that I saw something there…

On top of a little hill, two creatures sat. The larger one smiled, and said:
“And that, my darling daughter, is how they stop hunting you.”