Link Love: 07.25.15

Back cover of The Magic Box

This Link Love is so overdue. I think I've been hoarding some of these for months now, but life has been crazy and this blog doesn't always get the attention it deserves. This is my way of saying, if it seems like old news, it probably is.
"In the time since I’ve started editing young adult fiction for the Kaleidoscope imprint at Twelfth Planet Press, I’ve learned a lot about what people do and don’t think about YA. In particular, I’ve seen a lot of people dismiss it as unimportant, insubstantial, all the same, and for kids. Essentially this is the exact same stuff people in the Science Fiction community complain about hearing from people who shove SF into the “genre ghetto.” It isn’t fair for SF, and it isn’t fair for YA, either."
"We have forgotten Lolita. At least, we’ve forgotten about the young girl, “standing four feet ten in one sock,” whose childhood deprivation and brutalization and torture subliminally animate the myth that launched a thousand music videos. The publication, reception, and cultural re-fashioning of Lolita over the past 60 years is the story of how a twelve-year-old rape victim named Dolores became a dominant archetype for seductive female sexuality in contemporary America: It is the story of how a girl became a noun. "


Book Style: Peter Pan

Peter Pan

I'm a little obsessed with the Puffin Chalk series by Dana Tanamachi-Williams (of Tanamachi Studio), I've done Alice's Adventures in Wonderland before and I had, just had, to put another one together. Today is Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. For those of you only familiar with the big screen adaptations of this tale - Disney's Peter Pan & Hook are the usual suspects - let me give you a brief background. Barrie originally wrote Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up as a play in 1904 and then reworked it for a book originally titled Peter and Wendy in 1911. The bit of the story that was the jumping point for Hook wasn't part of the original play but was written in later and appears in the final chapter of Peter and Wendy as When Wendy Grew Up. An Afterthought. The play still rarely uses An Afterthought's content but occasionally producers elect to include it. The character of Peter Pan was actually based on Barrie's brother who died at fourteen. Barrie took comfort from that idea that since his brother died a boy, he would remain in that carefree space forever. Peter's first appearance is actually in Barrie's 1902 novel The Little White Bird.

Don't think of this outfit as a lady Peter Pan or as a modern Wendy. It's not either one. One of Peter Pan's most enduring lessons is that we are never too old for whimsy, so I made an outfit that is whimsical and fun and just a little bit overgrown schoolgirl. I'm not gonna lie, I want twirl around in this "Work to Play" dress. Peter may not appreciate the work part of that, but he would appreciate the Peter Pan collar. Fun Disney's Peter Pan boyshorts underneath these mind-blowingly perfect mermaid tights will give you adequate coverage should you decide to also spin about with me. Peter Pan inspired salt-and-pepper oxford booties are practical and cute. This "Wasson Pirate" cardigan will keep you warm should you decide to set sail with Captain Hook and his crew (not advised, but to each their own). A Tinkerbell purse and a "Neverland" beanie (special Shadow Edition) are up next. I wish I could afford this adorbs little crocodile bag charm! A "Wendy, Darling" phone case will keep your phone Neverland chic. For the jewelry I added a Peter and Wendy silhouette necklace, a pair of tiger lily earrings (Tiger Lily is still my favorite character from the Disney film - even if "What Makes The Red Man Red" and the representation of the Indians in general makes me cringe a bit), and a pirate skull cameo ring. For the finishing touch, brush on some super-sparkly "Mermaid's Dream" nail lacquer. Now sprinkle that pixie dust and away we go!


Book Style: Watership Down

Watership Down

I feel like I'm cheating a bit with this Book Style for Watership Down by Richard Adams. I mean, I chose THE rabbit book because I wanted to do rabbity stuff. Which means that this outfit is just 95% bunny/rabbit themed and only like 5% inspired by any other element from the classic adventure novel. Okay, I did the actual math - of 13 items, 12 are thematic, and 9 of those are rabbit/bunny pieces, which means, technically, I only coasted on 75% of this one. But, bunnies!!!! 

Depending on who you ask, Watership Down is either a children's book or not, but I think it's a bit like Little Women in that it is totally acceptable for kids, but adults will get way more out of it. Kind of like a Pixar movie. The really cool thing about the novel, in my opinion, is that the animals are all completely anthropomorphized but are still completely in their natural environment. There's none of this adorable clothing or placing them in human-style cities nonsense, but their civilization and motives are completely human. True, you'll have to bear with some incredibly outdated gender roles, but it's not the worst thing you'll encounter when reading a "classic". The way Adams was able to craft an entire society -  morals, military structure, history, mythology, religion, etc - for these brave and extraordinary little rabbits never ceases to amaze me.

For the outfit, I decided to use this twilight-hued Puffin edition as the inspiration. (Purple is my favorite color and I will use it at every single opportunity.) The rabbit/bunny stuff first: a "Bunny Skeleton" tank top because I kind of picture Black Rabbit of InlĂ© looking all skeletal, woolen shorts with rabbit-fur patch pockets, rabbit tights!, leather "Bunny" hi-tops, a bunny-shaped rabbit-fur wristlet, a bone cuff made from actual rabbit bone molds (it's considered good luck to wear rabbit bones - think lucky rabbit's foot), bunny earrings, a "Rabbit Leaping" silver pendant necklace, and a bunny ears headband. The cardigan is just a pretty complement, no meaning. The "Dandelion Drops" earrings are for Dandelion and his bravery. The "Blackberry" ring is for Blackberry and his incredible smarts and logic. Finally, the "Suzi has a Swede Tooth" nail lacquer is for, and I know this is stretching it, Kehaar (the gull) who is based on a Norwegian resistance fighter Adams knew during the war. Honestly, this is the closest I could come to Norway with a matching polish shade. Sweden and Norway are both Scandinavian... I'm sorry, I know I failed you. 


Book Style: Poisonwood Bible

Poisonwood Bible

Since my husband has finally started reading some of my favorites, those books that I've been begging him to pick up so that I could share all of my feels with him, I have realized that I've never Book Styled many of them. Like the Hitchhiker's Guide one I did last, I think it's because the covers don't easily lend themselves to being styled. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is a perfect example, I look at all that beige and panic. But my love for this book runs deep. I've never really liked any of Kingsolver's other works, yet I read and reread The Poisonwood Bible at least every couple of years. It speaks to my soul, often in new ways, at each reading. 

I wanted a Congolese/African feel to the outfit and thankfully crop tops and flowy skirts evoke the right imagery without being too appropriative of African culture (a fine line, I know). I started with this "Leah" one-shouldered crop top; Leah being my favorite character, and it's only partially because that's my middle name. Next a "Leah" skirt - honestly, it was just a lot easier to find Leah stuff than Rachel, Adah or Ruth Ann! The shoes are "Congo" sandals from the Brother Vellies x Madewell collaboration. And they're made in Kenya! The "Anatole Bonbon" bag is for Leah's love interest/Nathan's foil.. A crocodile leather cuff for one of Nathan's largest (and most obvious) failures at understanding the local people, a "Mamba" ring and necklace for Ruth Ann's tragic demise, a pair of parrot earrings for the wonderfully crass Methuselah, and a "Modern Primitive" ear cuff from Rachel Entwistle for Rachel and for the Prices' initial assumption about the nature of the villagers of Kilanga take care of the jewelry. Toss on an "Out of Africa" silk scarf and you're set. 

If you've never read The Poisonwood Bible, I swear it is phenomenal. It deals with cultural misunderstandings, the dangers of hindering your own progress through pride, family issues, interracial issues, and is a great jumping point for digging into African colonialism and Congolese history.