Mary Shelley: How The Queen of Goth Lived a Dark Fairy Tale

Mary Shelly lived a life that would be considered radical, and unstable now. I’ve read a few things on how Frankenstein came to be, and I am always interested in new information about that summer, and Shelly’s life in general.
I have been reading and I’m very much enjoying Frankenstein. It’s so much different than the film adaptions I’ve seen, and all the details and such in the actual novel are really holding my attention.

The Raven Report

Frankenstein-History-Gothic-Shelley

In the summer of 1816, 19-year-old Mary Godwin—soon to be Mary Shelley—conceived the tale that would become the biggest Gothic masterpiece of all time, Frankenstein.The wildly dark book shocked and titillated the literary world when it was first published in 1818, but the most surprising element was how Mary’s life itself played out like a dark fairy tale. She was a fiercely unconventional woman who suffered many heartbreaks and tragedies, lived several years in an untraditional relationship, drifted from place to place, and generally rebelled against the world she saw as limited and sexist.

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Post: Mallory’s tale. First pages draft.

Way back in i’m gonna say 2013, I stumbled upon an amazing artist on DeviantArt.
(Yeah… I was a young DA gremlin) her art was wondrously unique, and as I browsed her gallery I found something that I quickly became in thralled by. Her amazingly imaginative tale, known as Decembersville.
I loved everything about it, though it was only a draft of what was to come.
Sadly, the last chapter was posted four years ago. And has yet to be updated, as the author and creator, Andi Espinosa (known as Count Andi, DeviantArt and tumblr) is a pretty busy person. But fans have gotten plenty of new information from questions she’s been asked on her personnal tumblr. ( http://countandi.tumblr.com/ )

Though it has been a while since I have read the last available chapter, Decembersville still holds a very special place in my heart. And Andi’s work still inspires me to this day. So much so, I have nerded out and made my own little fan characters.

The thing you are about to read is a rough, written draft of a fan-comic I’ve been wanting to work on for a looonngg while. It will probably be a while til I actually make this as a finished work.
I hope you enjoy.

 

Decembersville: Mallory’s tale

A Decembersville fan comic.

Prologue

Page 1:

First and second panel large. Placed on top of each other.

Penal 1: A large old truck, with a rusted blue paint job drives through a dark, snowy forest. Its flat bed, and wood trailer filled with large objects, stacked high, and mostly cover with a trap.

The early 80s Someplace in America, possibly Alaska.

***word block 1***

“When I was ten years old, my family moved from Scotland, to a new place.”

***Word block 2***

“A better place.”

Three years earlier:

Panel 2: A tall, thin house on a tree covered hill. Rain falls lightly, making the green shine brightly through the grey mist all around

***word block 3**

“We used to live in a tall, thin house on a hill in the Isle of Skye.”

***word block 4***

“It was in a small forest, one of few in Skye. I was born in the town near our house.”

Page 2:

Four panels, medium sized.

Panel 1: A warmly light, and cozy living room. The walls are light colored wood panels, the big sofa in front of the red brick fireplace is light blue, with white flowers. The big armchair is pink-ish red flax velvet. Atop the darker wood end tables sit mix-matched lamps. One a green shaded fifties style desk lamp, and the other a taller, brass lamp, with a multi-colored, glass shade. Behind the big chair is a tall lamp for more reading light. The back wall is filled with two large bookcases, filled bursting with all different sizes and colored books. Stairs are in the back right corner, and three doors stand in walls next to it. The one right next to the stairs is a small closet, the one next to that is the door way into the kitchen/dining room. And the last into the only bathroom.

***word block 1***

“My old house was filled with laughter, the warmth and smell of the fireplace, and  my papa’s old books.”

Panel 2: Mallory’s father and mother stand in the kitchen, her mother yelling, her father looking as if he is trying to calm her down.
The table is oval-shaped, light colored wood. Like the walls. The wooden chairs are mix-matched, with different colored cushions. The cabinets are a slightly darker wood, and the counter is marble-y green. Copper Pots and pans hang from a rack on the ceiling.

**word block 2***

“My mother hardly ever laughed. She was always yelling at father. She was not happy. She didn’t like what we all were.”

Panel 3: Mallory’s mother is putting suitcases into a small car. It’s dark, and raining. The fog muffles the green of the trees.

**word block 3**

“Sometimes I wondered, even then, if she hated us too”

Panel 4: Young Mallory stands outside her house, in her wore, murky green rain boots, and a blue peacoat jacket. She watched her mother drive away.

**word block 4**

“I was seven when she left. I didn’t understand why she was leaving. Why she was yelling. I only remember bits and pieces of what she said.”

***Word block 5**

Mallory’s mother:

“Why I ever had children, I don’t know! I should have known they would have been freak-monsters like you! Like me!”

 

Page: 3

6 panels.

Panel 1: Young Mallory stands on a muddy road, the road has lines from cars in it. The rain is falling harder, and the trees droop with water.

***Word block 1***

“I tried to find her, I didn’t understand why she left. I wanted to go with her.”

Panel 2: Young Mallory, curled in a ball, on the wet forest floor. Rain and leaves fall slowly around her.

***Word Block 2***

“I quickly became lost, and cold. I remember stumbling into a dryer part of the woods sobbing. As I curled up in the damp leaves, it didn’t take long for me to drift off into a shivery slumber.”

Panel 3: Young Mallory, now sitting up and gazing at the stranger standing over her.

“I must have slept for hours, but after a while a kind stranger came upon me”

Panel 4: Dark haired stranger carries drowsy Young Mallory back home.

“He asked me where I lived, and then took me back to my family.”

Panel 5: Stranger stands in the entrance of Mallory’s house, still carrying the girl, as he talks to her father.

“He was one of the kindest humans I had ever met.”

Panel 6:

The dark haired man sits and drinks tea with Mallory’s father. Yuria is at the counter preparing more tea, Arrome is sitting in a chair on his knees, his hands on the table. Mallory is standing curled into her father’s side, her father is sitting at the far right of the table. The stranger sits next to him on his left.

“My Papa invited him to have tea with us, and after I was dried off from the rain, papa and the stranger were in deep conversation.”

Page 4:

5 panels 

Panel 1: The dark haired stranger is talking. His bright blue eyes shine with wonder.

“I have heard of a town where people like you live. A hidden town, in the north forests of America.” The man tells my father.”

 

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Rook and Raven practice excerpt (Unedited)

Here’s the unedited version of the little writing exercise I was talking about. I love Rook’s dialog, but everything else is pretty choppy (especially all of Raven’s bits). It’s over a year old, and a pretty rushed draft, so read with caution.

 

 

I lay in the back of my truck for a little while afterwards. It had already gotten pretty dark, so I guess it was a good idea to have lined my trunk with the padded moving blankets, quilts and things. It made a good place to sleep, and now I wouldn’t have to blow my cash on inns where Dr. Farris could track us to.
Rook never slept. I guess he can’t. It kinda makes me sad, when I think about it, but a few characters in The Wizard of Oz didn’t sleep. They kept watch Dorothy while she slept, kept her safe. I fell asleep, using Sam’s jacket as a blanket. Happily thinking of how Rook was my Scarecrow. My first companion on my long journey to stop the wicked witch.

The morning sun was pale from the thick fog that surrounded the area. I was draped in a flannel blanket, which had kept me warm despite the dropping temperatures.
I heard the gentle clicking of Rook’s needles as he worked away on his green scarf. He must have returned shortly after I had fallen asleep, and given me the blanket.
I pulled myself up, holding onto the back of the seat.
“Good morning, Raven.” Rook said calmly. “I hope you slept well.”
I smiled into the rear view mirror. “I did in fact, thank you for asking.”
I climbed over the backseat, leaning over the shoulder of Rook’s. Watching him knit for a minute or two.
“So I guess we gotta wait for the fog to clear before we can skedaddle.” I said nonchalantly.
“Yes, alright.” Rook replied with a small sigh.
I glanced at him in slight concern, pursing my lips. “Is everything alright?”
“Why, yes. Why would you ask?” he turned in surprise, almost bumping me in the face with his big beak-face.
“Um, you sighed. I have never, ever heard you do that. Ever. And you are freaking out that I asked. These are tell-tale signs something’s wrong. Trust me, I’m an expert.”
He was quiet, turning back to his knitting. The fog was still thick, and I wasn’t going to let this go.
“Did you find something last night? Whatever you were looking for?” I asked, poking Rook’s face with one finger.
He didn’t answer.
“Okay, hot shot. Can I drive?” I almost hissed.
He put down the scarf between the driver and passenger seats, and climbed out of the car. I slid through the front seats, plopping down in the drivers. Rook climb back in on the other side.
“Alrighty, now… You’re going to tell me what’s up, or I’m gonna drive into the foggy badness. And I don’t think Jumpy would like that much, would he?” Making a mock-confident face.
Rook sighed again. “You are correct… But I doubt he would like me to speak either.”
“Would he kill us if you told me what’s wrong…?” I started to get a weird feeling in my stomach. “And is anyone actually on our side?”
“Well, he seems to care about what happens to you at least, and I don’t think he hurts people that often… We should be alright.”
“Then tell me!” I cried, tugging on his sleeve like a child.
“Alright, alright… When I was walking to your vehicle, I saw someone else near the car. I moved closer as quickly as I could, but he was gone. He left a note, it was the jumper. But something was missing. And I couldn’t figure out what he took.”
“Huh… Umm, we can look now that it’s bright. What do you think he took?”
“Well. I thought maybe he took your blanket while you slept. You were without on when I arrived, and it was the first obvious object.”
I was quite for a minute, my eyebrow knitting in confusion. “I didn’t have a blanket when I fell asleep… I had Sam’s… Sam’s jacket! He took it! Why would he do that?”
“Calm down Raven. It’s going to be fine… He had his reason to take it. Maybe he was taking it to your friend.”
I was starting to have a panic attack. I needed that jacket, it was all I had left of him.
“But… Sam’s dead, I need it back. It was…” I was on the brink of hyperventilating.
Rook moved to hold onto my forearm. Softly, he said “Raven, stay calm. It’s all going to be alright. You know what he does, he leaves you clues. Clues so you can find your friend. Solve the clue, he might be telling us something.”
I was still breathing in broken gasps, tears rolling down my face. “He, he… Took the jacket. Is he saying what Dr. Farris said is true?” I croaked.
“I don’t think so. He would have said in his note.”
“Does the jacket going missing mean, he’s alive? Okay. It’s waterproof, does that mean somewhere wet? Or maybe it’s somewhere cold? Both?” I paused, face falling flat. “What did the note say exactly?” I said, glaring into the portholes of Rook’s mask.
“I don’t remember all of it…” He said, pulling a small, yellowing piece of paper from the robe. He sat quiet reading it for a moment, till he finally saw me giving him the stink eye.
“Oh… My apologies. I was memorizing it so I could tell you what it said.” I still stared at him.
“Oh um… Would you, like to read it?” Rook asked
“Uh, yeah. Or you could read it out loud…” I said, exasperated.
Rook slowly handed me the note, and I snatched it from his hand. Still giving him a look.
“Okay… ‘Dear Mr. Rook, and Miss Bethleson.’ How formal of him… ‘I left this note to congratulate you on the job well done. The Foundation is no longer trailing you, you lost them completely. Job well done! I do have another point to this note mind you. I wanted to inform you that I have set up another set of clues, which only you two can solve. The better to keep our foes off our tails, eh? Follow the bread crumbs, my friends. From your ally, The Timeless.’ How long has he been leaving notes?”
Rook thought for a moment. “Since before we met. This is the first to be addressed to both of us, though.”
“Well, I get they were to you. But you could have at least told me you were in that close of contact with this guy, dude. Okay… He took the jacket. He left the note. Is there anything weird about the note?”
We both stared at the old yellowed paper for at least ten minutes. Flipping it over, taking a magnify glass to every word.
“Wait a moment, Raven. The ink is blue.” Rook said simply
“Yeah… But what does it mean, if it’s a clue at all…?” I asked, rubbing my eyes in frustration.
“Where are we?” He asked, perking up a bit.
“Just outta Spokane… Past Coeur d’Alene, near right next to the national forest.”
“Okay, what blue around here?”
I thought for a moment. Well there are creeks all over the frigging place… Let me look at a map.”
I yanked the giant road map open. Looking for anything blue near where we sat.
“Okay… We’re past Coeur d’Alene, past Curran Creek. Looks like the closest, and largest body of water is Rose Lake. But are we sure the ink means water?”
Rook pulled other old papers from his leather robe. “None of the others have blue ink. It’s either a clue, or out ally lost his black ballpoint.”

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Post: Buckle down, Crael.

Now that summer has finally started (Blegh. I hate the heat) I seem to be doing better at doing the creative things I ought to be doing.
I still have a bit of school, but I’m currently working on a way to keep busy with school and writing. I have been horrible with schedules for months now, but anyone who cared to read my earlier posts this year know that already.

I read one of the writing exercises I wrote last year, and my stars. I actually love it a lot. I love the way I wrote one of my characters, he was just the way I want him, though the protagonist’s dialog and a few other things need to be edited, it’s still pretty darn good.

And I am still planning on finishing that short story. I was going to rewrite the last few paragraphs when I was distracted by school, and procrastination. So Look forward to that, and the Rook and Raven excerpt after I edit them both.

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Post: Short stories

As a writing exercise earlier this month, I took a title from a book I’ve never read, in this case a Ian Fleming biography titled “The man with the golden typewriter” and turned into a short story using the title as base.

I really like the idea I came up with and though it’s not finished, I do plan on sharing it on this blog, as well as other short stories written on with the same method.

See? Progress!

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Post: An explanation. Sort of.

My my… I haven’t posted much anything here in quite a while, have I?
Hopefully this will change, but I think I ought to give a few reasons/excuses to why I haven’t made a single post since July of last year… The first being, I literally haven’t been working on anything. Not a thing regarding writing my book, or other creative projects. I’ve had a buttload of ideas, and I’m planning on working on a quite a few new projects, but I haven’t started on much anything.
I have been doing a lot of school, or at least trying to make sure I do enough. I started pretty late this year, and will have to continue to do work on pretty much all my subjects throughout the summer. So I haven’t had much time, I guess. I could have made time, and I should have. But I didn’t. I didn’t even end up doing many of the things I wanted to do this school year. Which were to start taking Ballet lessons in the first semester, and start Piano lessons, and a driving instruction course in the second. All of which didn’t happen.
So yeah… This school year hasn’t been what I wanted. But I know there is still time to do other things. This year has really just begun after all. And I still have a lot things I can do. Like working on my novel, improving in art, and mailing the darned package of gifts I was sending to my friend.

I do have a real post planned. I was working on it, and had almost finished, when it got deleted or the page crashed or something. So I lost the whole thing.
It was (and is) going to be about the car my main protagonist drives for much of The Timeless/Rook and Raven. Which, oddly enough is a fairly relevant detail.

So I do plan on writing, this next year. School or no school. It sucked losing all that motivation around the beginning of the second semester, but I’m going keep going. I’m going to work hard on things again. And I really need to while I can!

And I really need to spend more time working on this blog, consarnit!

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Post: Working though details.

“Raven stayed in bed most of the time after Sam first went missing. Not eating, or getting up much. Causing some unhealthy weight loss. She had paid leave from her work for as long as a year and a half, so she didn’t have any where to be. All those unused vacation days coming into use.
People would call, wanting to go out in town with her. Raven replying that she had something important to do. Or that she felt ill that day.

She felt the whole city judging her. The girl who’s friend disappeared, missing without a trace. Who was there when it happened. Traumatized by what occurred  that day. But what had happened? And why couldn’t she talk about it, or say where he went. Why couldn’t she?”

A bit of how Raven might have felt during her first few months after the trauma. And a bit of how bad she was getting before her brother stepped in. Truthfully, I enjoy writing strong emotion like that of a character with depression, or in an emotionally taxing situation.

Lately, jutting down ideas in a notebook has certainly been helping me remember concepts. And I’m looking forward to actually starting my book. The course I’ve been taking is really helping me flesh it all out. I’m super excited.
I did have a fun time writing out some story with my friend for fun. Role play writing is good practice for getting into the habit of writing everyday.

I also started an art blog on Tumblr. Which should help me with sharing my art, as this is sort of helping me share my writing.
Hopefully it will help me improve in both as well.

I’m not sure if there was a point in writing this entry… But hey, I posted something.

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Post: Ever so slowly

“I opened my eyes slightly, looking up at the plague doctor’s face. I saw his eyes through his mask, wide open, with crinkles at the corners like he was smiling. I almost didn’t believe it when he winked his right eye.
He was alive, the weirdo…”

At a snail’s pace I’m getting through this course, but it’s all gonna be worth it. Finally getting one story out there. A real, original novel.
The whole thing is exciting and frightening at the same time.

I’ve actually decided who I’m going to delicate The Timeless to as well. Which is good.

Gosh, all my posts  probably sound scatterbrained, but blog posts have always been a challenge. It may not help that I’m dead tired too…
Oh well.

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Behind the Mask: The Plague Doctor

Interesting…

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice

It is an image that many recognise but most know nothing about. The plague mask—with its elongated beak and dark, soulless eyes—has been replicated in costume shops around the world [see left]. Indeed, so prevalent are these masks at parties and balls, one might be tempted to think it is a design entirely imagined by Italian mask-makers for the Venetian Carnival. But where did this mask originate and what purpose did it serve during plague outbreaks?

Although the plague ravaged Europe in the 14th century, killing nearly two-thirds of its population, the earliest textual description of the mask dates from the 17th century. Charles de Lorme, chief physician to Louis XIII and likely inventor behind the design, wrote:

The nose [is] half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with only two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to…

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Post: So close

“I was waking up, feeling myself jerking ever so slightly, as he carried me through the now dark forest. My right ankle throbbed, and so did my leg and side, as the plague doctor’s fingers dug into them.
I looked into the dark porthole eye hole in his mask, and I saw the serious, amber eyes that rested beneath. But for some reason, I wasn’t scared. I may have been in shock from the whole ordeal, real or not. Right now, even with the pain in my ankle, I felt so safe.”

Sigh, I’m being very slow with my writing program, but this scene it asked me to write… I’m very excited about.

Plague Doctor monsters are my favorite.
Mask characters in general actually.

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