MidenianScholar
Alyssa Hollingsworth
photographer, writer, reader, learner.

The eldest sister reached up to touch the stars and her eyes, so dark before, began to shine.

-The Magic Rubab and the Worn Out Paizars
I was reflecting on the peace and quiet in my flat while I read the Letters to an Unknown Soldier project. The tension between the sorrow and horror in these letters and my own surroundings grew in me, and this came out.

Would you like to watch the birds a while with me, soldier?
I don’t know their names anymore than I know yours, but we can make our own names. We can call them after your comrades and my characters: This one, Jim; This one, Melle. I won’t ask you if your comrades live if you don’t ask if my characters are real.
We can lie in the grass and observe how the sun turns every blade golden in the evening. The wind and the birdsong will blend into a new sort of silence around us. Sometimes we will grapple for words, try to describe the healing blue of the sky, and then let our speech fall again to an easy quiet. 
We can breathe—now in sync, now distinct.
We don’t have to be lovers. We don’t have to be siblings. We can just be human, together, for a little while. 
Would you like to watch the birds?

I was reflecting on the peace and quiet in my flat while I read the Letters to an Unknown Soldier project. The tension between the sorrow and horror in these letters and my own surroundings grew in me, and this came out.

Would you like to watch the birds a while with me, soldier?

I don’t know their names anymore than I know yours, but we can make our own names. We can call them after your comrades and my characters: This one, Jim; This one, Melle. I won’t ask you if your comrades live if you don’t ask if my characters are real.

We can lie in the grass and observe how the sun turns every blade golden in the evening. The wind and the birdsong will blend into a new sort of silence around us. Sometimes we will grapple for words, try to describe the healing blue of the sky, and then let our speech fall again to an easy quiet. 

We can breathe—now in sync, now distinct.

We don’t have to be lovers. We don’t have to be siblings. We can just be human, together, for a little while. 

Would you like to watch the birds?

letter1418:

Deadline is 4 August. Submit your letter now!

letter1418:

Deadline is 4 August. Submit your letter now!

❝ brambleberrycottage asked: For the writing meme - Choose any or all : 4, 13, 19, 37 and 44.

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04: Have you ever thrown a book across the room?

I would have thrown Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom across the room except that it would’ve probably put a hole through my wall.

I have also thrown books at roaches.

… Actually Freedom would’ve made a great roach squasher… Maybe I should’ve kept it.

13: What’s your favorite writing quote?

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."

- C.S. Lewis

19: Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?

Computer. Sometimes I still write longhand, but arthritis has made it less fun.

37: What’s your oldest WIP?

The Fountain’s Edge, I guess? I don’t know if that’s still a work-in-progress since I’m not sure I’ll pick it up again. It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and there is a lot of mythology and an evil uncle and the male MC gets beat up by the female RI, which is fun.

44: What’s the weirdest character concept you’ve ever come up with?

Probably the Hugh Dancy, blood-magic wielding antagonist of my current WIP. He’s so cute!

Have a look at the meme and send a question if you’d like!

❝ erudite-demigod-shadowhunter asked: 18, 28, 41

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18: How do you feel about love triangles?

Basically the same way the characters feel: Conflicted. I appreciate when a love triangle is pulled off well because relationships don’t exist in a vacuum, and sometimes a love triangle can spice up the trope of first-guy/girl-in-the-book-is-the-one-MC-will-end-up-with. But when done poorly, love triangles can be an infuriating shortcut to tension. 

(I also get very tired of wishy-washy love stuff very, very fast—but that’s more my personality than a thoughtful comment.)

28: Which do you find hardest: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

The beginning is the most fun to write for me, but the hardest to edit into shape. The end is the hardest to draft, but often the most fun to edit.

41: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline?

I revisit the outline. Normally if a character deviates, I can somehow make their left turn work in the story. For instance, midway through my WIP a character announced that he has PTSD. I had no inkling of this before, but it worked so well with what needed to happen that I let him have his way. (However, when he said he wanted a sidekick monkey, my reply was a firm, “No.”)

Have a look at the meme and send a question if you’d like!

✍ Finally, an ask-meme for writers! ✍

  1. 01: When did you first start writing?
  2. 02: What was your favorite book growing up?
  3. 03: Are you an avid reader?
  4. 04: Have you ever thrown a book across the room?
  5. 05: Did you take writing courses in school/college?
  6. 06: Have you read any writing-advice books?
  7. 07: Have you ever been part of a critique group?
  8. 08: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
  9. 09: What’s the worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
  10. 10: What’s your biggest writer pet-peeve?
  11. 11: What’s your favorite book cover?
  12. 12: Who is your favorite author?
  13. 13: What’s your favorite writing quote?
  14. 14: What’s your favorite writing blog? c;
  15. 15: What would you say has inspired you the most?
  16. 16: How do you feel about movies based on books?
  17. 17: Would you like your books to be turned into TV shows, movies, video games, or none?
  18. 18: How do you feel about love triangles?
  19. 19: Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?
  20. 20: What’s your favorite writing program?
  21. 21: Do you outline?
  22. 22: Do you start with characters or plot?
  23. 23: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of making characters?
  24. 24: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of plotting?
  25. 25: What advice would you give to young writers?
  26. 26: Which do you enjoy reading the most: physical, ebook, or both?
  27. 27: Which is your favorite genre to write?
  28. 28: Which do you find hardest: the beginning, the middle, or the end?
  29. 29: Which do you find easiest: writing or editing?
  30. 30: Have you ever written fan-fiction?
  31. 31: Have you ever been published?
  32. 32: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?
  33. 33: Are you interested in having your work published?
  34. 34: Describe your writing space.
  35. 35: What’s your favorite time of day for writing?
  36. 36: Do you listen to music when you write?
  37. 37: What’s your oldest WIP?
  38. 38: What’s your current WIP?
  39. 39: What’s the weirdest story idea you’ve ever had?
  40. 40: Which is your favorite original character, and why?
  41. 41: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline?
  42. 42: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?
  43. 43: Have you ever killed a main character?
  44. 44: What’s the weirdest character concept you’ve ever come up with?
  45. 45: What’s your favorite character name?
  46. 46: Describe your perfect writing space.
  47. 47: If you could steal one character from another author and make then yours, who would it be and why?
  48. 48: If you could write the next book of any series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?
  49. 49: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?
  50. 50: If you could live in any fictional world, which would it be?
  51. This could be fun.
letter1418:

"I have read a lot of letters while working on this project. Long letters, short letters, hundreds of letters which all say something more than some men may have been able to send or receive from home because they or their families were illiterate, or in some way unable to write a proper letter for an uncertain time. Censors were very worried about information leaking from the front so field postcards like these were used to allow soldiers to notify their families of very simple but important information, without the risk of censorship breaches."
Read the full letter inspiration here.
Lily Kerfoot
Editorial Moderator for Letter to an Unknown Soldier

letter1418:

"I have read a lot of letters while working on this project. Long letters, short letters, hundreds of letters which all say something more than some men may have been able to send or receive from home because they or their families were illiterate, or in some way unable to write a proper letter for an uncertain time. Censors were very worried about information leaking from the front so field postcards like these were used to allow soldiers to notify their families of very simple but important information, without the risk of censorship breaches."

Read the full letter inspiration here.

Lily Kerfoot

Editorial Moderator for Letter to an Unknown Soldier

thesilvereye:

View the fullsize tutorial on DA | The most handy hair structure tutorials are this video by Proko and thisblog post.These are useful for thinking about the direction hair locks flow with different styles: 1 2 3 4 5 | Painting Realistic Hair | Shading with gradients: 1 2 | Tutorials by me including: Gimp Brush Dynamics, Coloring Eyes and Coloring Method.

All example characters are fromThe Silver Eye webcomic!

sirredmayne:

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER || Get Involved

What questions should we ask?

letter1418:

I don’t really believe in ghosts, but I believe in holes.

One day a few weeks ago, I got lost on the footpaths around my flat. I wound up in Woolly, a tiny village with little more than a few roads and a church. It was green and lush with early summer, and I had to stop and appreciate the rolling hills, the farmers on their tractors, and the dad and son washing a car in the driveway.

Woolly is a Blessed Village (also known as a Thankful Village). This means that out of the 10,400+ parishes in England, Woolly is one of 53 where every man who went to World War One returned. Actually, Woolly is one of 12 doubly thankful villages—all her men returned again in World War Two.
I was born in a small town in Florida, where we’d run into friends at the park or church or Pizza Hut regularly, where everyone was connected to everyone. Everyone was important somehow.
I wonder what holes would have been left, if the men of my town left for war.
My mom and I have often discussed how holes transcend generations. It may sound dramatic to say that someone’s absence can hurt that person’s great-great-grandchildren, but it’s true. I can trace some of my own brokenness through my ancestry back to the great-great-grandfather who would not touch his children.
What must it be like, then, to have whole families ripped through by war? What must it have been like to have 99.5% of the villages in England mourning for someone?
Woolly is doubly blessed. But who has inherited the holes?
Read some letters about holes and small towns here:

Lauren Steele - “You should have been at home watching your son taking his first steps, not taking your first steps onto the battlefield; I know you would have rather been tripping over toys in the playroom other than tripping over dead bodies in the trenches.”
Colin Sherwood - “So far I have found 182 of my family’s ancestors who fought in World War 1.”
Cameron Howard - “Your brother is planning on joining in the next few weeks when he comes of age. I know the only reason he wants to join is to impress the ladies.”

- Alyssa
Editorial Moderator | Letter to an Unknown Soldier

letter1418:

I don’t really believe in ghosts, but I believe in holes.

One day a few weeks ago, I got lost on the footpaths around my flat. I wound up in Woolly, a tiny village with little more than a few roads and a church. It was green and lush with early summer, and I had to stop and appreciate the rolling hills, the farmers on their tractors, and the dad and son washing a car in the driveway.

Woolly is a Blessed Village (also known as a Thankful Village). This means that out of the 10,400+ parishes in England, Woolly is one of 53 where every man who went to World War One returned. Actually, Woolly is one of 12 doubly thankful villages—all her men returned again in World War Two.

I was born in a small town in Florida, where we’d run into friends at the park or church or Pizza Hut regularly, where everyone was connected to everyone. Everyone was important somehow.

I wonder what holes would have been left, if the men of my town left for war.

My mom and I have often discussed how holes transcend generations. It may sound dramatic to say that someone’s absence can hurt that person’s great-great-grandchildren, but it’s true. I can trace some of my own brokenness through my ancestry back to the great-great-grandfather who would not touch his children.

What must it be like, then, to have whole families ripped through by war? What must it have been like to have 99.5% of the villages in England mourning for someone?

Woolly is doubly blessed. But who has inherited the holes?

Read some letters about holes and small towns here:

Lauren Steele - “You should have been at home watching your son taking his first steps, not taking your first steps onto the battlefield; I know you would have rather been tripping over toys in the playroom other than tripping over dead bodies in the trenches.”

Colin Sherwood - “So far I have found 182 of my family’s ancestors who fought in World War 1.”

Cameron Howard - “Your brother is planning on joining in the next few weeks when he comes of age. I know the only reason he wants to join is to impress the ladies.”

- Alyssa

Editorial Moderator | Letter to an Unknown Soldier

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