Saturday, 31 October 2015

DIY Halloween Costume : Black Cat

I was recently told that black cats have a hard time on Halloween, We don't celebrate it here. We have a similar version more religiously based very soon after. It concerned me, hearing of cats being treated badly simply because they happen to be the colour that they are, as though that has anything to do with anything.

Plus, there's nothing I love like a VERY simple Halloween outfit, I think it's so cheeky making yourself into a character by doing nothing. Once I attempted it by dressing as a fifties gal. This time I thought I'd do a black cat. All it took was a black choker necklace, some MAC Cyber lipstick and a cheap kitty ear bando I once bought off of ebay for a friend only to find out she wouldn't like it before I gave it to her, oops! It came in handy though.

Of oucorse were things more in my favour I know I'd go real hard on the costuming. Until that day, I will enjoy the simpler get ups :)

Anyway, my point is, be smart and not cruel to black cats this season will you?  Let a kitty live.

Peace. Love. Live and let live.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Book Launch : Force Ripe

I'm sure you remember my review of this book. No? Pretend.  This past weekend it was officially launched on the island that is it's setting and I was there to witness it.

I wont drag on much about it. I will say this: I was glad to be there, the speeches and thank yous from all involved were so very moving and I'm really glad it was launched at this phenomenal location where I was able to explore one of the most amazing houses that still stands rich with colonial design.

Also, check out them cupcakes though right? Yummy. Can I have those when my book launches?

Have you ever been to a book launch?

Peace. Love. Local Literature.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Thriftbooks : A Review

(pretty packing yes?)
Just coming off my post about seven good reasons to still buy hard copy books I wanted to do a bit of a mini review of this website thriftbooks. Just from the very name I thought it a wonderful idea. This is a website that deals with the resale of books from one party to a next.

I know that for many people books are not held as something to hoard but something to read and pretty much forget about or donate to a next party. Well, this website sweetens the deal by allowing you to make some cash off the lot of it!

I love this idea because it makes my little environmentalist heart sing a happy song. I know that this world is not all that it used to be and providing a way for many people to find enjoyment out of one book instead of throwing it in the trash or letting it be eaten away in the corner by dust or bugs well, a great initiative it is if you ask the likes of me.

I almost thought it too good to be true. After all, how could you be sure that you would get good, cared after books and not sloppy seconds someone was just looking to free themself and their bookshelf of having to see? Let us be honest, in this day of the world wide web you take such a chance when ever your order things we are kind of just choosing to close our eyes to it aren't we?

Never the less I decided to try out the service, I wanted to populate my personal library with some of my favourites, these books were cheap, second hand and the website ships world wide so what did I have to lose?

As it always does with my mailing system it took quite some time to get here but it did and look at those beauties! I do not regret it in the least! These books were well kept by their previous owners and well worth the reduced price. The site gives you the option of which book you would like to purchase according to the state it is in which tends to vary from as good as new or slightly torn or nicked.

I chose almost new for my purchases and they are both hard cover because these I want to last a very long time. Granted, one of them looks like it was a gift and has a little note written on the inside something along the likes of 'i hope it brings you as much joy as it brought me' or that might actually be a note from the previous owner to me, which is cute but only cute because I think it's written in pencil haha. The other I think the book's jacket is slightly scuffed but I'm okay with that being the case. I mean have you seen how pretty the cover of my The Alchemist is?! Yes please!

All in all, I love and I would say give it a try for discounted books in good shape. Another feature I love is that you get paid more the better the condition of the book you're selling, great encouragement for keeping your books well. Also, I love that I can make a wish-list and be notified when someone adds a book I want to the website and snatch it up quick. Kind of slept on that because I could have owned Harper Lee's book when it was being sold for cheaper but hey, a girl needs to also support local businesses right?

Do you like buying second hand books?

Peace. Love. Read.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Why Buy Books Though?

I was contemplating this lately as I considered filling my library with my favourites books. The ones that have changed my life. The truth is this home I live in is likely not my last stop, heck it's barely my first. The bookshelves in this home belong to me because I bought in my early years of working the things that reflected the destiny I wanted.

Even with this being so I found myself questioning even in the midst of my joy, as I bought some of my favourites...what sense does this make? It was on my mind so much I had a talk with someone about it and this person helped me to conceptualise what I suppose I already knew but can easily forget in this ever digital age.

At the end of our conversation, this much was clear, seven reasons to still buy books in hard copy:

1. To Contribute to your Legacy - 

To pass on a representation of the things that are important to you and have impacted your life to the people who are most important in your life. What a joy it is to pick up and old favourite and share with someone then watch the light of love come to life in their eyes as the love you found in those pages births in them . The people we love love seeing those things and for me it will be an unspeakable joy someday to pick up Green Eggs and Ham or The Nutmeg Princess and read them to my own loves.

2. Character Repute - 

There is a saying that you can judge a person by the books on their shelf and surely we can secretly admit (just between us) that if you walk up to someone's shelf and find a slew of only say... harlequin and heat novels for example, you will begin to judge their character in a way that is unspoken. You will judge that person very differently than you do the person whose shelf is filled with self help books or psychology textbooks. I do not enforce such judgement for Lord knows my shelf could be inhabited by anything at any time given the research I'm doing at that time for a novel or another but alas it happens and I will readily admit that I have walked up to many a bookshelf and when the books on their tell of a professional who invests on his craft a part of my is impressed. Passion informs purpose after all.

3. Referencing - 

Speaking of purpose, it is handy to have a repertoire of books on hand from whence to tap when indulging in your discipline. Whatever your passion their comes a time when you want to dip into a source that is certified easily and without sifting through search engine result after search engine result. Books are away of ensuring your citations are reliable with the flick of a page. Who can't appreciate such a thing?

4. Encouragement of Passion -

Honestly there is something about being surrounded by good literature that makes me want to write more. Its inspires a guilt I am grateful for, a guilt that says get of your butt and let your reality reflect your dreams.

5. Aesthetics - 

I cant think of a better prop than books. I take pictures like crazy when I'm next to them and they would be my ideal youtube video backdrop because they put a pep in my step, I feel learned and inspired and all kinds of good feels when I'm around them and I hope that they can inspire that amongst others I encounter because really they are a treasure chest of knowledge just waiting to be had.

6. Identity -

Represent for who you are right? If these books hold within them the messages that have shaped you, if they scream your values and what your perceive the answer to life as we know it? Rep you baby. On every shelf in the house I say.

 7. Exploration -

What ever your discipline, it remains important to push the envelope. Having books within reach that encourage an unfamiliar perspective is a wonderful way to do that. There is something about a bookshelf that causes people to drift in it's direction. When left alone with one, they either seek old friends in the world of the written word or find new ones. It's astounding the power of a book on hand.


Hey and maybe books will go out of style someday but even writing that sentence the only thing that comes to mind is a quote from the Doctor Who Episode where I met my favourite character.

"Books! People never really stop loving books. 51st century. By now you've got hollovids, direct-to-brain download, fiction mist but you need the smell! The smell of books, Donna- Deep breath!' ~Doctor Who, Silence in the Library.

Why do you still buy books in this day and age?

Peace. Love. Beautiful Libraries. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

10 Struggles of Being an English Major

 // Linguistics is sexy, which makes you a little more odd than average as you swoon over the way something is said rather than what is said, making your friends roll their eyes at your strange fascination of how the tongue can bend in ways that hold your interest for reasons completely unrelated to sexuality.

// Text book theorists are usually hilarious, full of wit, sarcasm and irony as they present their theories and are often poets or novelists themselves which makes you feel rather proud because as far as you're concerned your teacher is a literary superstar and you get to be thought by them and read their knowledge even though students of other disciplines just don't get how awesome they are or why you would read your textbooks for fun if you know, you were ever allowed time to breathe.

// Being OCD about either grammar, linguistics, spelling or all of the above. Those disciplines take over your brain until you start hearing everything in punctuation marks and phonemes.

 // Mr. Darcy is basically my fictional equivalent of Trey Songz. In fact everyone has one, a fictional equivalent that is.Mr. Knightley comes in a close second.

// Okay, I had to get over marking on my books it's true and how about them references? Underline? Italicize? SPRINKLE IT IN FAIRY DUST?!  Plus yeah, a literature get the jokes on 97% of this list.

// You dream of getting rich so you can buy two copies of books, one for reading and letting everybody touch and the other for putting on a shelf within view and admiring for its beauty so for now when people touch your books a little part of you screams murder on the inside.

// Beautiful books make you tingle in all kinds of places. I mean has any body seen these?! I am loosing myself hungering for the Pride and Prejudice copy of these bad boys. I seriously almost cried, their beauty near brought me to tears.

// When someone says 'I haven't read the book but I've seen the movie!'with pride, you have to exercise restraint of judgement. It's not on purse that you're judging them it's just your training rebelling.

// There just isn't enough time in life to spend reading Literature before you grow old and die as you have to you know, get out there and live and keep your commitments and all that and this makes you very sad.

// Libraries speak a special language to your soul so they feel like a sacred home and you get well miffed when people do not appreciate the life of its own such a place has.

 There are more but I thinking I'll stop here. Who's your literary Trey Songz?

Peace. Love. Language.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Book Review :: Force Ripe

Cindy McKenzie’s 'Force Ripe' is a charming tale of toiled experiences, faced by an Afro-Indo- Caribbean, under aged, girl in the time of political unrest that was the Grenadian revolutionary era. The author uses stream of consciousness, the Grenadian Creole, sensory imagery and symbolism to successfully convey the fragile and frightened perspective of a young girl in the midst of war time. During these years of boldness and bloodshed, history is in the making and everything is as fresh and new as leaves during a tropical rainy season and as ripe with possibility as a good fruit crop.

The characters palpably display a search for identity faced by many Caribbean people with their engaging sense of reasoning and their motivated moves to action, spurred by a will to survive and a time of enabling disregard for the opinion of the wider world. An opinion, aggressively echoed through decades in chants of ‘Let them come, we will bury them in the sea!’ and ‘It takes a revolution to make a solution!’ Words that are still heavy with longing and regrets for many Grenadians today.

However, this time of search for identity during which the book is set is not without its winding roads. Under the stress of seeking a solution that fits every class, the characters of ‘Force Ripe’ face challenges as varying as mass migration and the ripping apart of families in search of financial stability, to new, radical spiritual commitments in the hunt for acceptance and ownership of self apart from the whole.

The author builds on themes of isolation, emotional turbulence, the extended family structure, abuse and spirituality through the symbolisms of visions, outer body experiences and the use of sensory imagery and local idioms. At one of her darkest hours, covered in shame and desperate for healing the main character describes her situation as ‘…feeling like a titerree in a river full of crayfish.’  (Force Ripe 2015) and the reader cannot help but get a sense of the strain of a child, propelled into a very adult situation, who is ever seeking to heal the sores of her past quietly and without the much needed guidance of a loved one.

When tackling resolution the author approaches it with the same level of insecurity present in the days post revolutionary Grenada. The future is unsure but certain, dauntingly but excitingly unwritten like the blank pages of a child's journal. ‘Force Ripe’ proves itself a brazen tale of strife and survive of both a girl and of a nation.


All in all it was an interesting book. I admit it was a bit challenging when I first began because it is written in my native Creole and even though it is a language I often speak their is no official written version and my brain is not used to seeing it in print or actively acknowledging it in inner dialogue. 

When I became invested in the characters I warmed up to the tale more quickly. The setting is familiar and in fact much of the story takes place on my side of the islands. Familiar too are many of the scenarios, patois sayings and customs of the children and the adults in their lives..

It is always interesting to me to read alternative perspective on the Grenada revolution and though it was much cameoed in this novel, I was able to see things through the perspective of a young school girl. A point of view I think, is beyond valuable in the face of the fact that much of that time is unwritten or remains hidden even now...

Lee's story reminded me of the resilience of my people even in the face of socio economic danger, coupled with individual instability. It was an engaging and unique experience reading her story.

If I had to rate it I would give it 4 stars. Not because the book is bad but because of personal bias. The literature I most enjoy is brimming with literary flavour ( but I'm sure you know that, Pride and Prejudice, Gone With the Wind and Sense and Sensibility are my guilty pleasures after all) this story's style is much more auto biographical and without comparison I appreciate it for what it is: a life lived bursting with determination for freedom and fruitfulness backdropped by Caribbean landscape. I applaud the author for being brave enough to write this and braking the silence on such a heinous issue.

If you're a non national and think you're up the task of reading a novel in a language much different from your own or a Grenadian by birth or boat and would love to be submersed in the goings on of the Grenadian people, you can check out Force Ripe available for download and purchase via amazon Sunday October 4th 2015!
Blog Design by The Blog Store