names: inspired by books!

Hello everyone! So after a long, long time… I am back.

My friend and I were talking about names during a Biology lecture, and I decided to do a thing where I would list names that I liked inspired by certain themes, like books or mythology or science. Just thought it would be fun, and maybe if you were looking for a name for a pet or something this post could help. I’m not gonna do girl and guy names separately; it’s gonna be a mishmash of names I suppose.

1) Sorrel (Sarah Rayne, A Dark Dividing)

A bit of a morbid one, I suppose, but in the book, Sorrel is one of a pair of conjoined twins born in 1900. She was named Sorrel after the plant woodsorrel, and I always thought it was a very lovely-sounding, unique name, and I associate it with images of the English countryside and clean air and bicycles.

2) Pip (Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)

While I wouldn’t necessarily name a child Pip, I think it’s an adorable name for a pet (a mouse/hamster/rat?) and a great nickname, especially for someone called Phillip (which is Pip’s actual name in the novel). Pip is an extremely flawed character- in fact, I found him hard to like, but through the novel, the reader kind of watches him grow and mature from an innocent child to misguided young adult to a sadder, but wiser man, and you end up loving him anyway. It’s an interesting journey. 

3) Daenerys (George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire)

Many people will probably be familiar with the name of Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons. She tames dragons. She’s amazing. Boom. Plus you can nickname someone with this name Dany which is really cute too.

4) Elinor and Marianne (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility)

Two sisters, polar opposites, best friends. They go through a lot in the novel, and they go through it together. I think it would be nice for sisters, or even two pets who live together (for some reason, goldfish come to mind).

5) Kane (Rick Riordan, The Kane Chronicles)

Surname of the Kane siblings. They’re vessels for the Egyptian gods and goddesses, and their parents are Isis (kind of the queen goddess. Apparently the mother of every pharaoh) and Osiris (god of the dead/underworld). Cool stuff.

6) Nico (Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson)

Son of Hades. Need I say more?

6) Zosia (William Styron, Sophie’s Choice)

One of the main characters in the novel. She’s called Sophie, and her Polish nickname is Zosia. She’s a Polish concentration camp survivor, and is characterised as vivacious, sweet, funny and kind, but also extremely broken. It’s a highly interesting character.

7) Nemo (Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)

No, this isn’t a Finding Nemo reference. Captain Nemo was the mysterious captain of the Nautlius, a gigantic submarine that sails all around the world. He is extremely knowledgeable about the ocean, and has renounced living on dry land in favour of living in the sea. 

8) Scout (Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)

Inquisitive, tomboyish narrator of one of the best novels ever written. We see the world of racism in a small town in 1960s America through her eyes.

Starstruck

Nature. We hardly pay attention to it, yet it’s still there, relentlessly, unapologetically beautiful and blazing and bright. 
I think nature as a concept is very attractive to a lot of people. We like the pretty flowers, the idea of wide open green fields or groves of tall fir trees, dappled deer peeping shyly out from behind the moss-covered trunks. Rose petals, birdsong, softness, music. All associated with the idea of nature. The word itself is immediately evocative of whimsical little tableus worthy of any tumblr user’s blog. 

But, in loving the idealistic version of nature, we dye it with our own expectations and when it doesn’t live up to our idea of this perfect dream fantasy world, we stop appreciating it and look for another spot that does live up to our fantasies.

But nature is more than that. Nature is more than moss and flowers and idyll and butterflies. Nature is soil. Nature is warmth. Nature is the smell of humidity in our nostrils when we breathe in on a particularly warm summer night. Nature is the gentle breeze, but it is also the hurricane. Nature is gentle, foaming waves breaking on the shore, but it is also the tsunami. 
Nature is venomous snakes, blind mole rats, funnel-web spiders and gulper eels. Nature is all the animals we glossed over in school because they were too ugly to hold our interest for long. 

How captivated we can be by beauty, and yet, how blind we can become to all of its facets when we only focus on one.

1801 // texts

scene: a classroom. Fans whirring. Pens clicking. Teacher nattering. Otherwise- dead silence.

Girl, about eighteen, stain on her shirt, crumpled collar, rumpled spirit. Glances around. Takes out phone. Begins texting. 

get me out of here omg 

Girl puts phone facedown on desk. Seconds later, phone buzzes. Phone is picked up. She glances at the screen, reading the message.

– ten more minutes.

– it’s been, like, ten days and she still hasn’t shut up

– u got this

– no i don’t

– yes u do

– no i don’t i’m about to die

– really?

– yea

– oh.

– i’m serious i wanna kill myself

– u don’t have the guts

– try me

Phone goes silent. Two minutes later, screen lights up with a new message.

– people can do anything they set their mind to

– except listen to her 

A pause. The girl looks up. The teacher has stopped talking, is looking at her. She puts the phone in her lap. Teacher turns back to board. Girl picks up phone again.

almost got caught. 

– serve u right

– ok????? rude much

– i was joking.

– i hope u get caught texting

Silence for a while.

– same.

– lol what 

– imagine if someone walked by me right now

– lol you’d be screwed

– maybe. 

– u know u would be.

– btw i was joking about u getting caught 

– i know. Where r u now

– idk. 

– ? 

– i kinda just wandered here.

– what do u mean

– idk where i am.

– ?? how can u not know. r u in school

– no.

– what why

– i’m just kidding.

Phone goes silent for the third time. The girl waits, eyes narrowed, at the phone screen. Did her friend cut school? Then, a message pops up.

– i was joking. i’m in maths.

– damn. 

– yea. Sucks. 

– life sucks.

– yea.

– what topic?

– why do u need to know

– i’m just curious

– oh.

Phone falls silent again as the girl waits for elaboration. She scratches her nose, then picks up her pen and draws a squiggly line across the paper to pretend she’s doing something. Phone buzzes.

– do u ever feel like

– ?

– do u ever feel like

– what

– like

– ?? 

– nvm.

– tell me!!!!

– like your life is so meaningless 

?

– like no matter what u do you’re never gonna get anywhere or do anything 

– i mean i’m in physics right now

– but i dont mean that kind of thing, i mean… have u ever felt like u just couldn’t take any more from life and you’ve failed so many times at everything you love and

– and?

– and that everything was so unfair and that you just kinda wanted to

– ?

– nvm lol. Maths vibes

u ok? 

– yea i’m fine. go back to work.

– u sure u all right? 

– i will be, just need some time

– see u in the canteen? If u have time

– ok. See you.

– deal? Don’t abandon me like u did last time

– i’ll consider

– u better not

Girl puts phone back on the table. She is mildly worried, but brushes the feeling aside. It will pass.

Scene change: a rooftop. It’s early afternoon. The air is hot and full of birdsong and the smell of pollution. 

Another girl is there. Tall, big eyes, slippers. Hasn’t brushed her hair. Her phone dangles thoughtfully from her fingers and sweat clings to her neck. She steps forward, looks down. Blinks. Looks at her phone. Thinks a moment. Types a word, and deletes it, and types it in again. Drops her phone on the ground. It cracks.

A bird swoops past. The girl hesitates. Another bird flies past.

The girl squares her shoulders, and takes a deep breath. Chokes on it and the weight of her decisions. She clenches her fists. They are trembling. The girl lets out a breath. Steps forward.  Joins the birds in their flight. 

. . .

Phone lies on the ground, broken screen, but with the texts still legible. If you picked it up, you’d be able to read the last message she ever sent.

sorry man, i ran out of time.

2238 // creative challege #1

In the past two years, I realised I haven’t been doing as much creative stuff as I used to do (e.g. writing, drawing comics, singing etc.) because life is pretty hectic right now. I thought it would be a good idea to just set myself a weekly/fortnightly (I’m not sure yet, we’ll see) “creative challenge” so I have a chance to exercise my imagination, even if it’s just in a small way.

My last post was about names, so I kinda wanted to do something where I come up with a person/character based on the name, like what they look like, how they behave etc. Sadly, I cannot draw humans to save my life, so I won’t be putting up pictures or anything, but I’ll do my best to bring them to life with words.

Rhys
Freckled, tousled brown hair, hazel eyes. He’s five, and refuses to be separated from his toy giraffe. His mum dresses him- long white socks, blue sneakers that have clearly seen better days, light brown shorts and light green T-shirt with an unidentifiable stain on the front. He smells like grass, innocence and sunshine, and he smiles like real life hasn’t quite caught up to him yet.

Kade
Fifteen and popular. Plays basketball, and plays it pretty well. Straight, dark brown hair that keeps falling into his eyes, tanned. Athletic build, but shoulders are narrower than he would like. Dimples. Recently started figuring out that he cared about how he dressed, and as a result wears a lot of short-sleeved button-downs. Has yet to figure out that they don’t exactly go with basketball shorts. Always wears the same white shoes. Confidence fairly oozes out of his walk and talk, and his laugh is infectious. Has a fairly attractive habit of running his hands through his hair when he’s thinking. Seems to have trapped a little of the sky in his eyes.

Sorrel
Thick, brown hair. Wavy, falls down her back. Brown skin. Moss-coloured eyes. Probably plays the violin. Hates jeans, loves dresses. Favourite colour: gold. Favourite music: the kind that sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a particularly cheesy love scene in a particularly cheesy movie. Could pass for a wood-nymph if she tried.

Nika
On her seventeenth birthday, she cut her hair without her mother knowing, and now she has a really shaggy pixie cut. Cheekbones so sharp they could kill a man. Fair. Enjoys a good cup of hot chocolate. Reads a lot about sharks and dolphins. Has a shirt that says “Save the Whales”. Takes a lot of selfies with her tongue out.

Kai
Smiles a lot. Grey eyes. Rough hair, bleached brown by the sun and swimming-pool chlorine. Stunningly white teeth, considering the braces. Really obvious tanlines, and has given up trying to cover them up. Big fan of tank-tops. Wears slippers everywhere (green and yellow Havaianas).

So! That was pretty fun. If you’ve made it to this point, thanks for reading through four paragraphs of my nonsense. Also, let me know: did you visualise Kai as a girl or a boy? Just curious.

If anyone else wants to do this, please let me know! I’d love to read whatever you guys come up with.