The Count of Monte Cristo ~

I always loved “The 3 Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo” is another by Alexandre Dumas. It’s a powerful book about loyalty, commitment, determination, strength of spirit, of seeking justice and yet not giving up hope. And along with that, if you like sword fights, revenge, disguises, deception, then it’s right up your alley!

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”

No truer words said! As the main character finds out, he finds his ‘truth’ in the most unexpected way, through the people he meets that come into his life only briefly and teaches him something at the moment he needs it the most. 

Edmond Dantes is unjustly framed for treason and sent to a prison fortress for 14 long years. A fellow prisoner is able to teach him all he knows, to figure out his purpose and to plan his vengeance on his duplicitous ‘best friend’ who stole is life, and love. With the secrets to the treasure of Monte Cristo, he is able to re-instate himself in society as the mysterious Count, surrounded by wolves in disguise, he learns to keep his enemies close….

So, no matter what, we must endure. Nothing is perfect in life or happens as we expect, it’s about our mindset when we face disappointment and adversity, and how we act that counts.

*

“When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.”

~ The mystery of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ ~ 🖤🌹

‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is definitely a tale about escapism- Christine spends her whole life being coached by a ‘mysterious voice’ that mentors her to do better and achieve beyond what she thought possible, when she finally steps through the mirror and meets the man behind the voice, her illusion shatters and she is repulsed by his deformed face. 💀

Instead, she goes for her childhood sweetheart Raoul, and, the phantom realises that despite all he’s given her, she still turns away in horror. She pities him and yet still agrees to lay a trap, by going along with his grand plans for her on the stage, but in the end, his jealousy still destroys them (and the opera house which is also his home.) 🎼🎭

We see him as the villain of the story, but we also feel sorry for him, hiding away with no love and kindness- and perhaps it’s this forced solitude & space to develop his talents that turns him into a musical genius. There are many things to learn from it, that you can’t force love, that you can’t expect too much from anyone, yet also the power of forgiveness and also dedication throughout a lifetime. 🖤🖤

Another thing I love about the Phantom are the aesthetics, the opulent backdrop & historical references- after all it’s a theatre, the masquerade balls, the grandness, and of course, the amazing soundtrack!! Andrew Lloyd Webber really transformed it and made it his own- hence why it still stands the test of time. 👰🏻👻🎞⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

~ 𝔔𝔲𝔬𝔱𝔢 𝔠𝔬𝔯𝔫𝔢𝔯~

“They played at hearts as other children might play at ball; only, as it was really their two hearts that they flung to and fro, they had to be very, very handy to catch them, each time, without hurting them.”

“And, despite the care which she took to look behind her at every moment, she failed to see a shadow which followed her like her own shadow, which stopped when she stopped, which started again when she did and which made no more noise than a well-conducted shadow should.”

20,000 leagues under the sea

Having started “20,000 leagues under the sea”, watched “Aquaman”, “Jaws” & “Blue Planet-the deep” all in the space of 2 days ~ it’s no surprise when I started dreaming of being violently flung about on a boat swept by ominous looking black waves. 🌊

My phone was sliding around on deck, and I had just managed to catch it in one hand with triumph- only to discover my 2 companions were sinking under the tide (we were on our way to attend a party.) Needless to say, I arrived at the party without them… though I did give all my best efforts searching around, it turned into an affair like “The Great Gatsby”, they had different personas and were trying their best to evade me…

I’ve always been intrigued with creatures deep under the ocean. Their bulbous eyes and sharp teeth, their luminescent, transparent bodies, their spongy blob like exteriors… stuff out of nightmares…(which, I love calling up on the projector to show my students just to see their reaction!)

They say an iceberg is largely 3/4 under the surface. There are things below those tranquil waters that are beyond our imagination, and will still continue to lie unobserved.

So when the ‘Nautilus’ arrives and causes havoc in the seas around the world, it’s not hard that it could be mistaken for a narwhal or a cross between a whale/sea unicorn with its impenetrable exterior. It raises panic enough that the best captains rally and send forth a ship ready to capture, and, sadly slaughter this troublesome creature…Only to realise, it’s not a beast at all coming forth from the depths, but indeed a vessel, captained by none other than the infamous Captain Nemo. At this point our 3 protagonists have nothing else to do but sit, wait, and be carried along in an adventure like no other (since they’ve seen too much to be allowed to return home to dry land.) 🙄

Captain Nemo lets our guests into many secrets about the creation of his vessel (as surely it defies science), but we know this is only the beginning. If it’s anything like “5 weeks in a balloon”, I know that there will be no shortage of crazy events, the possible harpooning of sea spiders and giant squids, oxygen shortage, walking on the ocean bed and many, new discoveries.

And…if it’s anything like Dr Ferguson, Kennedy & faithful Joe- hanging onto the last trimmings of their damaged hot air balloon, shot at by arrows above enemy waters and praying to be saved~ we can only hope this Parisian professor & his friends get back safely (along with the unsuspecting sea creatures that cross their path!)

Edge of Silence

As we sit on the edge of silence,

gazing down to what has come before,

unrivalled dreams, stained apricot by passing suns,

like rain through our fingers no more,

mirrored strength, as marble hardens around-

our finest inspirations to fill the void,

as seasons flash, eternal;

never abandoned, relentless, never destroyed,

a memory flits by with her wings of silk,

so transparent and pure in the light,

of shadows that once were, carrying their weight,

or so nobly let dreams alight.

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Copyright © 2016 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Big thanks to Josh at ‘Been there, Read that’ for the second nomination! The title of the award is actually sisterhood/brotherhood of the world bloggers, (for guys and gals right?) The purpose of this award is to recognize the unique voices of woman & men in the blogging community 🙂

These are the five rules to follow:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
  3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Nominate ten blogs.

Well, I will begin by answering the questions. Here goes!

  1. What is your favourite bedside – or just table-side –  reading snack and beverage?

I usually have chocolate on my bedside table. Or sweets/ biscuits. Or a combination of all 3 just because I like to snack all the time. As for drinks I would say hot chocolate or coffee. But let’s face it, it’s usually something boring like water.

 2. Is there an author whom, if they are to release a new book, you buy it automatically without even thinking about it?

At the moment no…because I still haven’t found my favourite author  yet :L

3. Out of all of the books you have read, which one was the most difficult to get the hang of? (i.e. difficult language and such)

I would say Shakespeare- I still can’t pick apart or understand the meaning properly! At the start it also took some time to get into reading Dickens, but now I can get through one of his longer works quite quickly.

4. What is the most treasured book – or book like possession – that is most personal and important to you? One with a lot of sentimental value.

A vintage copy of “A Christmas Carol” from my grandmother…which is quite old and I’ve kept for sentimental reasons. I also have a signed copy of “Firesong” by William Nicholson and I regret not getting the rest in the series signed!

5. As I am a complete Tolkien nut, I must know: what is your favourite Tolkien story? – Tread carefully…

I’m going to say the Hobbit…though I haven’t read the LOTRs books I’ve seen the movies, and I preferred the Hobbit!

6.What book were you forced to read in school, that you actually ended up loving?

“The Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison. I did a book review on this some time ago…the book just somehow resonated with me, he had a strong narrative voice and a strong sense of injustice at society’s stereotypes…it is quite a heavier read just because of the content but definitely a good book which I highly recommend.

  7. You’re stranded on a deserted island with nothing to do, but you have three books with you: what books are they?

Ha, I’m going to say something like Dickens or War and Peace, something epically long because I’ll probably be on the desert island a while! Though I would want to bring my favourites, it might get a bit monotonous to re-read them over and over. Plus with Dickens if I was really bored, I could construct a timeline for the events surrounding the characters, which would be quite time consuming! 😛

8. Do you have a favourite reading spot? If so, where is it? A field perhaps; or maybe your bedroom; a particular tree in a forest; the list goes ever on and on…

My favourite dream spot would be somewhere like a field or forest, somewhere out in nature. But in reality, it’s my bed, contorted in the strangest reading position.

9. Are there any parts of a book that you always skip? E.g. songs, poems, dates, e-mails, etc.

I skip dates or sometimes poems, because I generally don’t remember them anyway! Plus if I  need to, I can always refer back. As for difficult names to pronounce (and you probably do it too!) I skip them and kind of make a weird sound in my mind whenever I come across them again…

10. Have you any writing accomplishments? – Big or small.

When I was at uni, I won a “On the Bus” poetry competition where two of my poems were printed on buses around the university area in UK. And aside from that some small children’s  book series & I co wrote eng grammar textbooks for secondary school kids some years back. But apart from that I really want to publish my novel or a collection of poetry….such is my dream! …

OK, onto my questions!

1. Do you always buy/borrow a novel based on the blurb?

2. What’s the quickest time you have finished a book, and what was it?

3. Do you have a book you lent to someone and haven’t got back?

4. What is your usual reading genre?

5. Do you have a favourite poem, or one which has really inspired you?

6. Have you had a novel recommended to you, which you are really thankful for? What is it and whom was it recommended by?

7. Would you buy a book you already own, just because of the cover?

8. If you knew there was a movie coming out, that is also a book you wanted to read, would you see the movie first or..? Does it make a difference to you?

9. If you had to have a book character follow you around, be your best friend for a week who would it be and why?

and finally…

10. What is the oldest book that you own?

I feel like the questions I set for the Liebster award were better >.< oops, sorry!  Maybe you can take a look and Mix & Match some- who is to judge!

My nominees:

Reading & Roaming

Coffee n’ Notes

In Noir Velvet

Mind Ecology

Enjoy, lovely people! 🙂

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In The Beginning

It sticks out of the bookshelf like a shark’s tooth;
gold leaf with shades of chrome, black.
Too loud, too at ease in its own skin.

Lined up like an army, battered and
dog eared volumes traverse the shelves.
I’d fought wars through those pages,
I had ridden through midnight trains,
soared over cities, learnt life’s bitter lessons.
A snow shaker of timeless dimensions
sealed with glue and trapped in paper walls.

Bending with the weight of secrets.

“I have chosen for you.” he says.
“The book that will change your life.”
He points to the hardbound cover creeping
its way out of the shelf,
inching its way closer-
willing me to pluck it down like a ripe apple.

It looks confident.

The book falls with a resounding thud
into my eager hands.
It is heavy, its skeletal structure
digging into the grooves of my palm,
making a home for itself
like an affection seeking cat.

I glance at its neighbours,
wispy and insubstantial like the smoke of dreams.
With the sound of their hushed murmurings
I turn the first leaf,
as the first four words fall from my lips….

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Copyright © 2015 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)

My Favourite Things

92ac4b5d-3d75-4ab3-9b61-10d855c3031aI think about my favourite things
and the places I want to go
of Roald Dahl and his witches
of mice and candy shops,
I think about the castles
and the dragons guarding gold
of girls with ruby slippers
and yellow brick roads.

Ladies waltzing;
chariots lined with silk
I think of heroic lions
pacing the heart of battle,
of exotic lands and wooden ships
flying stealthily over sand
of tea parties and white rabbits
and the magic of talking books.

Of mysterious black eyed ravens
and winning silver arrows
of lost Peter Rabbits
and wizards deflecting spells,
I think of all these things
and the pages swiftly past
but most of all the friends I meet
that will forever last.

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Copyright © 2014 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)

Modern Fairytale

do_you_believe_in_fairy_tales___by_ammozart-d5gxlce

-Welcome to my library says the beast. Two storeys to be read at your leisure. All yours.

-No thanks. Belle shows him her Kindle, held to her chest like an over swaddled baby-binder. This is your whole library.

-Can you eat it? Smell it, touch it, lick it? Didn’t think so, says the beast. It is not a proper thing you can drop in a bath, crumple in your bag until it is dog-eared, use as a coaster -no, it’s a travesty. You cannot eat a Kindle, and that’s a fact.

Copyright © 2014 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)