words, worldly wisdoms & wanna-be photography

Archive for April, 2013

In Rape Tragedies, the Shame Is Ours | The Nation

No BEDA post written by myself today but instead an article recommendation; I really liked the points made in this article about rape victims and the (non)existent consequences for the people involved.

In Rape Tragedies, the Shame Is Ours | The Nation.

If you want to share your thoughts about this, leave your comment down below! I’d love to hear what you have to say. (I wish I could have written a comment on this but I’m running short on time, I have to pack for holidays.)


untitled rant

NOTE: I know I haven’t done BEDA for over a week but I was very, very busy. Trying to catch up now though. (Hopefully.)

WARNING: This is going to be enigmatic. Basically, it’s just me talking/ranting to myself. Probably better to ignore this since it doesn’t make much sense anyway. (more…)


Daily Prompt: Share the Love

Remember the days when I used to participate in Weekly Photo Challenge? Yeah, long ago, I know. But I was thinking of possible posts for BEDA this morning (these days everything is about BEDA, I guess) and I thought that maybe I could establish Fridays as Weekly Photo Challenge day, so that I would have at least 4 more days of this month covered and on top of that get my lazy self to work on my photos. Coincidentally, today is the very first Friday of the month and when I looked up what next week’s challenges were…. I realized that I may have to postpone my idea until next week. Why? Because I looked the challenges up after lunch and one of the topics was about lunch or lunchtime; the other one was about colours but I couldn’t find interesting enough photos in my archive.

This is the reason why I instead decided to have a go at the daily prompt challenge, which I’ve never done before. Today’s task is about the following: Tell us about another blogger who has influenced your own online journey.

I’m afraid to say that I already know that there’s no one particular who stands out in my mind. The thing is, as you’ve probably noticed, I’m not the most avid and not the most prolific blogger. I don’t have that much experience and my journey is so to speak practically non-existent. Because I haven’t been blogging regularly, I have to delve into the world of bloggers anew every time I’m picking up blogging, which means that there’s no one I have been keeping in touch with or someone whose work I’ve been following so diligently that he or she’d have had the chance to influence my own work.

I can tell you though which person got me into blogging: It’s Libba Bray, the famous YA author and one of my favourite writers ever. (By the way I was just about to link you all to her blog and when I looked up the link (because I haven’t read her blog for about a year) I saw that she’s actually not – as she was back in the day – on LiveJournal anymore but that instead she moved here, to WordPress!) When I discovered Libba Bray’s books and her blog, which was late 2007, I think, she used to be really active on LiveJournal. She’d post almost everyday, if I recall correctly, and she had a really witty and humorous blogging voice that instantly got me hooked on her daily writings.
Also it was the first time I was directly confronted with blogging and the whole new world that comes with it – and I got deeply fascinated by how different you could design each blog’s layout, how there are so many people on the internet engaging in those comments or writing posts themselves, how people can be so productive and write a text everyday… (Yeah, I know. But I was 13 at that time, so give me a break.)
Because I was set on improving my English anyway, it didn’t take me long to set up my own LiveJournal blog afterwards.  I was very confused by the ways blogging works and also greatly overestimated my English abilities. Looking back, I don’t think I understood half of what the site was saying and the tagging system was just one big quiz for me. It’s no surprise that I stopped very shortly and put blogging aside for the next few months.

I did pick it up in December 2010 though and that’s when I created this blog here on WordPress. I can’t remember having someone in mind as I was creating it but I do recall how in the first few months my mind would often wander to Libba Bray’s blog and how prolific she was. A great motivator was also Kristin Cashore, another YA author, and Scott Westerfeld, yet another YA writer. They never influenced me in style and posting format, I guess, but every time I’d pay their blogs a visit and see the amazing response of their fans or the amount of posts they wrote in one month, I’d be reminded of how much fun blogging can be, when you actually keep doing it at a constant level. The thing with blogging is, the more you post, the more fun it gets. It is exhausting, that’s for sure – but unless you keep the posts coming in, you won’t get any response at all from your audience, no progression and no motivation to continue. Blogging for me is something you do all the way or not at all; if you’re not committed then you simply won’t benefit from it. Or at least not as much as you could.
In retrospective, I’ve noticed that blogging has taught me a lot – about the English language, about writing, about internet culture and about organization; but first and foremost, it taught me a lot about myself and how to express myself in words. The few times I was active were already enough to help me to open up, to let feelings in, to mature, grow and become the person I am today.

Going back to today’s prompt, I can’t say there has been someone, especially a blogger, who has influenced my own blogging journey so I could, among other things, thank them today for it; but I’d like to think that Libba Bray, Kristin Cashore and Scott Westerfeld have deserved my utmost affection and gratitude, for they have introduced me to this world and have kept reminding me that blogging is a hobby worth pursuing. So, a big thanks to them.
And while we’re at thanking, I guess it’s time again for me to say: Thank you, followers, for still being here and still sticking with me. You too might not have influenced my work but I wouldn’t be here today without you all and your support. You’re among the top reasons why I haven’t given up yet and, despite all the hiatuses, am still running this blog. Thanks.

Until next time,
Stella


from the cd stack: mighty oaks (BEDA #2)

Note: Because I started BEDA 3 days late, this post is going to be a “substitute” for my missing BEDA #2 entry.

MightyOaks

[photo: crop-out photo of the signed album I bought]

Time for another  music recommendation! I haven’t done one of those for a while now and when I went onto my categories list… I noticed that I’ve only done it once as part of my “from the cd stack”-series so far and only 2 other times all in all. (Proves again how rarely I post things around here.)

Today I’m going to introduce you to Mighty Oaks, which is a “Berlin-based indie-folk band”. They were founded in 2010 by their lead singer Ian Hooper and guitarist Claudio Donzelli. Later their bassist Craig Saunders joined the two founding members and completed the band. They’re now a three-man group from three different countries even: the USA, the UK and Italy.

So far they’ve only released one EP and that might be the reason why people outside of the scene probably haven’t heard of them yet.  I myself got to know them Sunday two weeks ago – Shout Out Louds are touring at the moment and a friend of mine gave me the tickets for their Swiss concert as a birthday present – and Mighty Oaks happened to be the supporting act for Shout Out Louds.

From the beginning on Mighty Oaks had me enraptured. I bought their EP later but when you’ve listened to them live, you’ll surely agree with me if I say that the EP is only narrowly a substitute for their live music. They are good. They are really, really good. Ian Hooper’s voice is amazing and the guitar playing is amazing and those guys are nice, funny people. In general, I’d describe their music as a rough-but-also-smooth voice paired with mood-brightening guitar tunes making you want to sway to them all day long.

Because I obviously have trouble expressing myself eloquently, let me write out two lists for you:

1.) Words I associate with Mighty Oaks’ music: green, wind, summer, spring, forest, trees, nature, road trip, morning, dawn, grass, meadows, earth, fun, happiness, smiles, heartache (of the good and the bad kind, I suppose), blue skies, gardens, breeze, bare feet, freedom

2.) You’ll probably like Mighty Oaks if…

  • you like indie music, folk music and optimally indie-folk music;
  • you like bands such as Mumford & Sons or Angus & Julia Stone;
  • you like music played mainly by guitars;
  • you like music which reminds you of words from the list above.

What do you think? Did I get you hooked on it? (I admit I’m terrible at selling things to people… but I have a possibly sprained ankle at the moment and it hurts and my head does too… excuse me for not thinking clearly right now and being so ineloquent.) If not (yet), you might want to listen to the two samples below (the second is my favourite):

http://vimeo.com/channels/mightyoaks/47501833

http://vimeo.com/channels/mightyoaks/47546727

I hope I could got some of you hooked on Mighty Oaks – they’re one of my favourite bands now and in most places still unknown, so I felt the need to spread their music out because in my opinion they surely deserved the support. I’m only afraid that I couldn’t give you more information – I didn’t have that many to begin with and I don’t like to analyze music before listening to at least a whole album of the artist and they have only their EP out… if you want some more information, you might want to check those links out:

http://www.mightyoaksmusic.com/#_

http://vimeo.com/channels/mightyoaks

Note: I’m sorry – somehow it’s not possible for me to embed the two video samples above. Just click on the link, it’ll redirect you to their vimeo pages. 


New Layout!

As I said in yesterday’s post, part of my BEDA will be the update of boredmaiden’s colour scheme and header – which I just did! I only have a few minutes left before the day is over, which means that I can’t write that much about it if I want to post this on time – but I’ll update this post first thing tomorrow for sure.

This is what boredmaiden looked like for the past 2 years, by the way:

boredmaiden

UPDATE: Apparently funny things happen when you’re writing blog posts around midnight and you’re already sleepy and tired; I really don’t know why I would count a post about my new layout as BEDA-appropriate. I mean, look at the post above and it actually tells nothing and I’d like to think that doing BEDA should have the goal to write about things – be it in a short or long post – that have meaning. Oh well.

I guess I now can just as well tell you what I was thinking about when I changed my colour scheme: So, for two years boredmaiden had this dark colour scheme and as I previously mentioned I chose it because it works as a nice contrast to my photos and acts as a neutral background for them. With dark blue, colours hardly ever clash. But when I was looking at my latest posts a couple of months ago and noticed how depressing they all were and how dark even the header is, I decided that I might need a change, might go for something lighter.
I tried out a few colour schemes yesterday – I first wanted it to be white, but this theme doesn’t allow a white – white background so I’ve switched it now to this cream tone. If you now scroll down to my latest photos, you’ll probably notice that the background and  the pictures don’t fit that well anymore – the contrast’s less obvious – but I’d like to think that it works out all right, which was my objective. Also it fits the black-and-white header I’ve chosen very well, in my opinion. What do you think? Do you think it’s obnoxious? Hideous? Should I change back? Should I only change the hue?


Introductions, anyone? (BEDA2013 #1)

Note: Because I started BEDA 3 days late, this post is going to be a “substitute” for my missing BEDA #1 entry.

So I was checking my mail box this morning and I was really, really surprised to see this nice line of unread mails in my inbox informing me about your likes on yesterday’s post. I mean, it’s not a huge number or anything but it sure is huge enough by this blog’s standard – especially considering the fact that it was a text post. So thank you lots! And again, don’t hesitate to comment below – likes are nice and all, but hearing from you would be even nicer!

I also got some new followers (Hi, new followers!), which made me realize that I haven’t done any kind of introduction for some time now. Sure, there is the one on my about-page, but I think a small introduction would be appropriate what with me starting BEDA and this being unofficially my first BEDA post.

I know though that introductions can turn out incredibly lengthy and more narcissistic than planned; so I decided to compile some “meet the blogger”-posts from tumblr and answer a few dozens of those short questions.

Here we go:

Name: Stella
Age: 18
Favourite colour: Green
Best school subject(s): English, German (Who actually comes up with questions like this one, really…) 
Mac or PC: PC
Current shirt colour: Black. (I always wear black shirts when the opportunity to wear one comes up.)
Gamer: Not really.
Day or night: I prefer the wee hours of morning – when the day technically has begun but the night hasn’t fully receded.
Celebrity crush: Keira Knightley and James McAvoy; also Ashley Clements and Daniel Vincent Gordh (although they’re not celebrities yet, I suppose)
Favourite food: Indonesian, Italian and Vietnamese cuisine
Where are you from?: Lovely Switzerland! (The small country in the middle of Europe.)

Do you usually sleep with your closet door open or closed? Um, closed?
Do you take the shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels? I do have a weird fetish to collect those hotel goodies as travel souvenirs…
Where is your next vacation? The Netherlands and Germany
Who do you think reads these? My followers who probably have already stopped after the first question
What’s your plan for the day? Well, the day ends soon, so I hope I’ll manage to write my BEDA post for today.
Are you reading any books right now? Yes, several: Game of Thrones, Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, There Is No Dog, The Tiger’s Wife, High Fidelity, Never Let Me Go, Lean on Pete and a couple more. I’m actually one of those people who start to read dozens of different books but have a hard time to finish them all.
Do you ever count your steps when you walk? No, why should I?
Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing? Not really…
Do you chew on your pens and pencils? Hardly.
What is your “song of the week”? There are a few: “Good Man” by Josh Ritter, “The Great Northwest” by Mighty Oaks, “All of This” by The Naked and Famous
Do you still watch cartoons? Sure!
What movies could you watch over and over and still love? Oh, so many: Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Love Actually, The Boat That Rocked, Easy A, Becoming Jane, Juno, Red Cliff, Mulan, Invictus, Harry Potter series and many, many more
When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? A friend of mine recently had her birthday and I usually write my birthday letters by hand.
What is your usual bedtime? Sometime between late night and before sunrise.
Are you lazy? Are you crazy? I’m the epitome of lazy.
Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? Actor, director, architect, teacher, writer, designer, librarian, vet, interpreter
Tea or coffee? Both!

And finally… I’m done! What I’ve learned from doing this: Never again should I answer tumblr introduction questionnaires. They’re silly and time-consuming. If you’re reading this, I admire you for your patience. Thanks for sticking with me until here and see you tomorrow!

Stella


BEDA 2013 and other news

So I’m actually supposed to be working on a presentation right now, but here I am, procrastinating as usual and spontaneously deciding to blog again after a months-long hiatus (also as usual).

The thing is, I miss talking / writing to you guys. And tonight I just had the irrepressible urge to blog again after a long pause – and who am I to deny my heart its most ardent wishes? (I’ll just excuse myself by saying that you’ve got to let the creative mind do what it wants to do whenever it wants to do it – or the missed opportunity of being inspired for a moment will haunt you forever.)

I actually don’t even know what to write about and it feels so weird to be writing again: It’s a mix between familiarity and strangeness – on one hand my fingers know what they want to type but on the other hand they hesitate ever so slightly as if not sure if what they’re doing is right. It also feels weird to write so formally again, after such a long time, or to carefully think about when to begin a new paragraph – on most social media platforms I hardly ever check my spelling or grammar or structure and I have a tendency to write without much planning. (Which I am actually doing as well right now.)

I guess I can update you on my life though; a lot has happened in the past few months, and I think I do have enough to talk about for the near future once I’ve thought things through and made a plan. So far I can say this:

1.) Remember how I wanted to write a post about introversion? Turns out I somehow lost half of my notes. The topic is very important to me though, so I’ll definitely write about it some day (when I’ll have rewritten my notes) and hope you’ll still want to read about it then. (Thanks for being patient and ignoring my inability to keep promises, by the way.)

2.) A post I could write with less preparation though would be about the ways internet has changed my life – and it’s something I’ve wanted to write for such a long time now, so you might get to read it in a couple of weeks. (I won’t make any promises anymore, ever, since I’m apparently really bad at keeping them.) The post will tell the story of how I got involved in the internet in the first place, when that happened and how it has affected me and my life.

3.) Third, I’ve just decided to participate in BEDA 2013! So you all know how bad I am at challenges or challenging myself but I guess you also know by now how much I like to try and try again to actually conclude one.
This time it’s BEDA which stands for Blog Every Day in April, which in turn is the writing version of VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) and means that I’m going (to attempt to) blog every day. I don’t think there are any rules to it except the blogging every day part, which gives me all the freedom to choose between short or long posts, text posts or photo posts, telling stories or recommending something. Sounds exciting, right?

Yeah, I know, a lot of you are probably sighing at the moment, saying “you’re not going to write every day Stella, you know you won’t, and anyway, you’re already three days late” but… I don’t know, I’ve just got a better feeling this time since some of my internet friends and a lot of people I’m following are either participating in BEDA or VEDA and that is an actual motivator for me. (They’re all ridiculously prolific.)

To give you an idea what I’m going to talk about, here’s a list of topics I could imagine writing/posting about (no guarantees though):

  • As mentioned above in 2.) “How the Internet Has Changed My Life”
  • “A Short Introduction to Webshows”
  • Teenage ramblings à la “I’m soon going to finish school – Arrgh!” or “University – help me!” or “I Feel Mopey and Depressed – A Post about Common Adolescent Angsting”
  • A post featuring my latest photography
  • Recommendations of compilations of articles on a specific topic you should read (which is rather reblogging than blogging, I guess) e.g. campus sexism, internet culture etc. or recommendations of bands you might want to check out or recommendations of other websites (link lists)…
  • Travel reports of amazing places I’ve been
  • Posts about events that happened recently

But maybe you have something you’d like me to post about? If so, don’t hesitate to tell me and write down your suggestion in the comments below. I’m generally open for anything and try my best to write about everything (since this blog has no concept anyway). Or maybe you have something of the list above you’d really like to see? Just tell me, I’d love to hear a response from you in any kind of way. And I know I’m not the best at replying very fast or sometimes I would forget to reply, but I do read each and everyone of your comments and am genuinely happy about each of them, really! Some of you have also written feedback per e-mail, which is totally alright, too.

4.) I know this blog has never changed its appearance in its almost 2 1/4 year-long existence but I’m actually thinking of changing parts of the layout. But before I do that I want to know what you think. Should I leave it like this or should I change? Do you associate this blog especially with its layout?

I’m not thinking about changing my theme since this one displays text as well as photo posts so perfectly; but I’ve been thinking of changing the background to a lighter colour maybe. I know that the dark blue goes well with a lot of different photos, which was really important to me at the beginning but I think a white or crème or beige background would fit well, too. And maybe I’ll also change my header. What do you think?

As always, thanks for reading and sticking with me – see you tomorrow!

Stella

PS: Today, I’ve unusually used a lot of slang words – I’m sorry, I’ll try to be more formal next time.