Friday, 28 August 2015

What's In My Bag?

I've been seeing these 'what's in my bag' posts everywhere lately... I guess I'm probably supposed to wait for someone to tag me or something but I thought I'd just jump in. >.< This post is inspired by thinking, 'hmm... what actually is in my bag?' and then being fairly amused by what I uncovered when I delved into the depths.
My bag. Sorry it's slightly blurry. Must get a photo-editing programme at some point like a proper blogger. >.> 
My badges! The little purple one was a gift from my friend Jade :)
It has been said that a bag is a 'comfortable reflection of a woman's personality' - so in my case oversized, soft and a bit scruffy round the edges. In fact in the same article linked to above, French photographer Pierre Klein, who did a project on women's bags, states that after seeing the contents of a gym employee's handbag strewn across a desk, 'in five minutes, I had learned more about her than in the few months that I had seen her during my visits to the gym. I knew where she was born and knew about her fears just from looking inside her bag.'

Which is more than a little worrying when your handbag (or in my case currently, backpack) is filled with this:
Left to right, top to bottom: my glasses; purse; house keys (with library card key fob); work keys; Pitch Black DVD (I was going to a friend's house to watch movies, I always bring a fave); awful Vampire Romance book (contains some of my most-beloved authors, including Caitlin R. Kiernan, Lilith Saintcrow and Karen Chance, but sadly it also contains a large number of extraordinarily cringey sex scenes and cheesy stories that are little more than filler - should have seen that coming based on the cover alone); spare guitar pick (on book cover); body spray; three spare record deck needles; glass owl; Alice In Wonderland umbrella; heap of receipts; wild apple; bubble mixture; notepad; pen; passport. My iPod and headphones were not in my bag this day, but I feel they're with me in spirit.
Record deck styluses, glass owl, bubble mix.
Make of this what you will.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Character Study: Wyn Little

Last month I posted a sample of my current work in progress. I stalled on this work for a long time because, frankly, I'm writing by the seat of my pants and haven't really the faintest clue what's going on. So this month I decided to get a grip on the reins of this damn novel and try and work out what the actual plot is rather than just having my characters bimbling around who-knows-where doing god-knows-what. Backstory! Motivations! Actual decent locations instead of vague half-formed generic wherevers! Yay! To this end I have begun writing character studies (sorta - I need to do more detailed versions with likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses etc.) for my mind people so that I might actually understand whatever it is they are going to do next (and why, and maybe even how). 

This is an edited version of my first Wyn Little character study - my full version is less vague but I see no reason to give away ALL the back story before I've actually finished the damn book. I have absolutely no idea if this is of interest to anyone except me, but here we go. As always, thoughts and opinions are appreciated. ^^

Wynford Benjamin Little, known as Wyn, was born in 1969 in a small unnamed town nestling between the Scottish lowlands and the North of England, in the area commonly known as ‘border country’. An only child, he was named after a Welsh friend of his father’s who fought with him in the British army. Dark-haired and dark-eyed, Wyn was born with a vestigial tail, which was surgically removed when he was an infant.

Wyn’s father, Benjamin, was a tall, thin angular man with a beaky nose and bright dark eyes. He spoke little, but he loved Wyn deeply, even if he did generally express his affection by ruffling the boy’s hair too hard.

His mother, Runa, was an immigrant. Wyn knows little of her past; he believes she came from one of the Scandinavian countries, as she often told him tales of mountains and trolls. Sometimes on a Sunday morning, she would climb into his bed, smelling of moss and earth, and tell him long, strange stories about women with hollow backs and mermaids with mouths full of sharp needle teeth. Once she told him that his grandmother was a mountain, and even as an impressionable little boy he might not have believed her, except that he had seen with his own eyes the two delicate horns that nestled amidst her tangle of long golden-brown curls, which made anything seem possible.

As a little boy, Wyn was short-sighted, bookish and quiet, a solitary child. He had one or two friends, but looking back, he thinks they may have been imaginary. He can’t be sure. Their house he lived in with his parents was just outside the town, and between his mother’s riddles and stories and the long walks he took across the hillsides and through the woodlands, the landscape of his childhood was a weird and wild place, filled with magic and mystery. Nonetheless he was happy.

In his latter years at secondary school and in his first year at college, when not writing he occasionally went to parties where he could usually be found, by one a.m., sitting in the bath or kitchen sink or on the back doorstep, chain-smoking and chatting intensely to any one of an assortment of pale, doe-eyed girls with wild hair and silver glitter smudged under their eyes.

When Wyn was seventeen his mother disappeared. It would be truthful to say that he wasn’t even particularly surprised. She had been a vague presence at best; as if she had been outside the world somehow, and only dipping a toe in it. Wyn and his father would perhaps not even have been worried if they hadn’t found her horns in the back garden, twin bloody stumps resting between the roots of the old oak tree (Wyn thought of it as old, even then). (His father died some years later, of emphysema. Wyn put his mother’s horns into his father’s coffin.)

Before his father’s death, Wyn went to university in England, the only time in his life he moved away from the tall house at the top of the hill. At university he met Jess, a fellow student in his literature class. She was tall with a wide mouth, laughing green eyes and untamed red hair which she dyed with streaks of vivid blue. He was immediately enchanted. They wrote to each other after he left to return to the border country, long letters about nothing much and short letters full of heart and soul, until one evening in January Wyn answered a knock on the door to find Jess standing on his doorstep with a suitcase. She never left, and they married four months later.

The marriage didn’t last.

In the years since, Wyn has become a virtual recluse. He has become a fairly successful writer; mostly he writes fantasy novels which bring in a modest income, supplemented by whatever freelance work he can get. Other than his agent and the postman, he rarely speaks to anyone. He has no friends and is not aware of any living relatives.

He lives on the money from his writing and also has a small inheritance from his father. He can be found occasionally perusing libraries or junk shops. He collects books and vinyl records; his music tastes are eclectic and change from week to week, but his perennial favourites remain Pink Floyd and Kate Bush. He talks to himself when at home, but he isn’t particularly lonely.

He has recurring nightmares about creatures with sharp white teeth.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Outfit Post, the First

When I started my blog Bohemian Bloomers, many people requested that I continue the outfit posts I'd started with on my first blog Stripy Tights and Dark Delights. Now, a few years have gone by and I'm really not sure that the request still stands! Nevertheless I'm still in the habit of taking photos to remind me of favourite wardrobe combinations. Sometimes I don't feel it's terribly helpful, especially as I have been avoiding putting too much emphasis on fashion as a part of my life, but other times I enjoy looking back on what I wore when.

If I wear something I particularly like, or get something new that I've fallen in love with, I often post a photo on my Instagram (although I try not to do that too much; I don't really want to get it into my head that I'm trying to be a proper fashion blogger or something - I don't feel that would end well! The aim of my fashion is first and foremost to cover my nudity and secondly to please myself, rather than attempt to set myself up as some sort of wannabe style icon - eek!).

That said, here for the curious and for my own future reflection, is a round-up of some things I have recently put on my body, which for various reasons (mainly laziness) never made it to Instagram. Generally these are fairly casual; I'm still very tentative with my own, newly-developed sense of personal style and tend to screw it up and overdo it (read: look completely mental) if I try too hard. As much as I enjoyed writing my style concept, I've had to try hard not to overthink it in day-to-day life or I end up with the problem of feeling as though I'm wearing a costume once again. >.<  I like to think I'm maybe a bit quirky but without overthinking or overstyling - I'd much rather get lost in a book than in my wardrobe.

Necklace: Urban Outfitters
T-shirt and cardigan: thrifted
Jeans and shoes: Topshop

Necklace: Urban Outfitters
T-shirt: The Mountain (I cut the collar out)
Blazer: Topshop
Jeans: thrifted
Sparkly Converse: gift from loverboy

Everything thrifted, except book scarf which was a gift from my mum, and shoes as before.

Beanie: River Island
T-shirt (Make Tea Not War): Amazon
Leggings and shirt: thrifted
Boots: Topshop

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Favourites Masterpost

Yup. It's literally just a list of things I LOVE. As in, unashamedly, geekily, fangirl-swooning, marathon-watching/reading/listening, would buy the t-shirt of, talk everyone's ears off about, love. Recommendations are always appreciated. ^^

The Big Bang Theory
True Blood (the first couple seasons, I feel it went downhill a lil bit after that)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Xena: Warrior Princess
The X Files
Game of Thrones

Pan's Labyrinth
Pitch Black
The Chronicles of Riddick
Repo: The Genetic Opera
Edward Scissorhands
Pirates of the Caribbean
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Music (Songs and Artists)
Grit Girl by Alice Moving Under Skies
Butterfly by Crazy Town
Papillon by Editors
Wytches by Inkubus Sukkubus
Living Dead and Undecided by Pretentious, Moi?
All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
Destroy Me by Unter Null
Of the Night by Bastille
Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais
La La La by Naughty Boy
Lean On by Major Lazer & DJ Snake
Teddy by RazorBladeKisses
Johnny Hollow
Emilie Autumn
The Birthday Massacre
The Cruxshadows
The Cure
Kate Bush
Hannah Fury

Brian Froud
Anne Sudworth
Mab Graves

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
Kraken by China Mieville
Valiant by Holly Black
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
The Crow by James O'Barr
61 Nails by Mike Shevdon
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Bizenghast by M.Alice LeGrow
The Hobbit by J. R. R, Tolkien
Fated by Benedict Jacka

Other Stuff
Looking into people's windows when I'm on the train.
Coffee and vanilla perfumes.
Photos of city roofscapes.
Street art.
Salted caramel.
Puppies and kittens.
The colour grey.
Scandinavian folklore.
The smell of sunshine.
Cable knit.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


In my awkward style travails, I feel I have recently reached a milestone. The last couple of weeks, I just feel like I can't be bothered to try to 'be' anything any more. Perhaps it's due to my semi-obsessive all-or-nothing approach to fashion, styles and subcultures but I felt like I was beginning to limit myself once again by trying to slot myself into a pre-defined style concept, even if it was one I had created myself.

So I stopped, took a step back, paused in my frantic scrolling through Pinterest and went and did something else. Things I was interested in. Stopped trying to get the 'real me' out of the depths of my psyche with a crowbar and left her to get on with it.

And it helped.

When I was a little girl, my mother tells me I had no interest at all in fashion. From my own memories, this isn't entirely true. I had no concept of being stylish, or even of looking acceptable in the eyes of my peers, but I had strong ideas of what I liked (flower patterns. Rainbow colours. Shiny fabric. People with bright-coloured hair. Dreadlocks. Things with ponies on. Some of these still hold true. Some do not. ;) ).

Then, growing up, I went through the hideous stage I think many of us do in secondary school - suddenly realising that I didn't 'fit'. I wore a baggy Green Day hoodie I had on loan from my friend Jade. My hair was cut short and bleached blonde (attempting to emulate Mary Stuart Masterson in the film Some Kind of Wonderful, which I watched approximately 1000 times when I was laid up on the couch with a neon-pink cast around my broken ankle, aged thirteen). I liked rock music and dance music and ripped jeans and obnoxious plastic earrings and shell jewellery and skate shoes and None Of This was acceptable to my classmates, who proceeded to make my life a living hell.

I left school very young, but the damage, as it were, was done (she turns up the melodrama). I had learned that the things I liked (weird clothes, Bleeding Edge Goth dolls and going to the bookshop after school with my friend Jade to buy manga and L.J. Smith books) were enough to make me unacceptable to others. Even in my Goth years, when I was thoroughly enjoying myself, I was aware that I had 'guilty pleasures', mostly musically. And yes, from time to time, I got slated for them.

I have always tried to cram myself into the 'right way' to do things according to however I was presenting myself at the time. So the most important step so far on my journey to feeling comfortable in my skin, life, and wardrobe, has been to seek out and embrace all the little, guilty, nerdy, secret pleasures I have stamped on and squashed and bring them into the light. To stop staring into my closet with a growing sense of horror and instead fling on the nearest, cleanest tee and jeans and go write something, draw something, cook something, go outside.

I'm not a schoolgirl now - I am a grown woman, and I can be a geek if I want to. I can listen to any music I want, and it's not a guilty pleasure, just a pleasure. I can get enthusiastic over the things that I REALLY like and know that my good friends like me AND my weirdness, even if the occasional acquaintance at the pub doesn't get me and thinks I'm a bit odd.
My life is bigger than how I look.
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