Your hands don’t look like an artist’s.

They’re a bit stubby, rather. Your nails are awkwardly cut and your palms are a bit rough. Your knuckles are naturally dark; they look like the souvenirs of hard-won fights many years ago (which they kind of are, really). The lines of your palms are defined and solid, each with their own story to tell. A thin, almost faded scar has sunk onto the map of your left hand, almost unnoticeable if not examined closely enough.

You flip your hands over, examining the back. A bony-yet-wide hand leads into some wrinkly fingers. You sometimes wonder why they’re like that (no one else you’ve noticed really has fingers like yours). On your right hand, curving along your index finger is the story of broken glass from a friend’s house when you were eight, a dramatic moment in which your mother began to panic a little and in which you were fascinated by the white flesh that lay under your skin. It ended with a trip to the hospital, where an amused doctor removed the ten-bandage-thick layer of protection you created for the cut that you were very proud of. 

Another pair of hands comes to mind. They seem so real, gracefully and gently encasing yours within them. Softer than cotton, pale and long and double-jointed. Perfect nails with little half-moons that finish them off perfectly. Slender fingers that link with yours, almost highlighting how rough your skin is in comparison to theirs. You try to forget about that, attempting to turn around and focus on the canvas that stands behind you. Physically, you can’t. The hands that you were just imagining weren’t imaginary at all. They squeezed yours a little, and you look up into the face of their owner.

A quirk of the perfect lips accompanies your surprised expression, and you feel your face heating up a bit. The mouth the same colour as your face feels widens, exposing some slightly crooked but still wonderfully white teeth that make your heart skip a bit. Freckles that seem to have been masterfully selected and placed by no other than a higher-power being follow the curved lines of cheeks that make way for a smile.

Your heart isn’t just beating now, it’s full-on thudding. Unconsiously, your mouth forms a little circle, in awe of who stands in front of you.

The hands that still hold yours is what you’d imagine yours ought to look like, with features that look like they were made to create artwork to last the next few millennia.

Sans paint, of course.

They’re actually bigger than your own. Your palm easily fits into their own, like two puzzle pieces coming together.

But these weren’t the hands of an artist, not today. They were the hands of a muse, inspiration for you.


Sometime later, your hands are still the same, yet you feel like you wouldn’t want any other. You look at your canvas, satisfied with what you’ve done. The glowing radiance of your model, the way the sun hits the face so perfectly it looks like the ascension of a spirit.

It is, to you.

You stand up, smile, and go to wash the ink off of your hands.



please understand that you don’t understand what it’s like to live a life full of despair to be filled with hope upon arrival and then to have it turn into an even worse feeling than before because you belong neither here nor there and you’ve left your homeland and you’re not allowed in foreign soil all because of a man who hates immigrants (even though his wife was one too).

let them in because i swear to whichever holy person you pray to that they will absolutely not allow this why are you here which idiots made you be here your ideas involve building a wall for fucks sake how are you mentally stable

don’t act like you’re all high and mighty because suddenly you have a big important seat at the head of a country that used to stand for equality.

now who’s going to come into your ‘great’ country with its iron barricades and rules that only favour the fair skinned because i sure as hell am scared to. I’m only fifteen. My brother is scared to. He’s only ten.

These little kids I met the other day are scared to. They’re four. One of them is American and doesn’t want to go back.

please stop

nobody really wants you there

except for a select few that are as mentally stable as you yourself are.

don’t take out your irrational threats on those who don’t deserve it.

how about you try living in your home country

tearing yourself away

even though there’re bombs and bad people

but its home

and you don’t want to

you want a good life for you and your family

yet at the gates to a new life stands people telling you to go back home even though there’s no home to go back to

lil’ book review #1 – The Ghosts of Heaven

Fight me if you disagree – and, honestly, I’d be surprised if anyone did – but Marcus Sedgwick’s The Ghosts of Heaven is a literary masterpiece.

Why? Because:

  1. The characters are so well developed and well written, it’s impossible not to believe you’re actually them. You’re able to connect with the characters you never knew you could connect with, and somehow, each character and story are connected. Every time the characters experience something, it’s almost as if you’re right there with them. I was never more torn apart when anything else happened to the characters.
  2. The stories are written in the way people would’ve written in the time period they’re placed (and if that’s not perfection on the highest level I don’t know what it is). The story from our ancestors’ hunter-gatherer times? Written in a poem, describing exactly the thought process that our ancestors followed. The story from the future? Written with the complicated language we can only imagine being spoken at the time when space travel and sleeping in pods is a thing. It’s so intensely and meticulously crafted, with no disregard for anything.
  3. The spirals just messed me up. Honestly, the most thrilling aspect of the texts was how each story was built on spirals. They weren’t merely placed there, though. They woven into the story, and it was hard to miss them. Yet, they were so prominent and important, it’s a wonder how they didn’t stand out more. Hands down, this was written so well, and it left me thinking for ages. The moment when I worked everything out, I actually jumped up and my mouth was agape. It was incredible.
  4. The diction was amazing. I don’t believe this book is anything less than pure linguistic perfection. Each word completely shifted the course of the story and I am still in awe of how well-versed this was.
  5. It doesn’t have to be read in chronological order – and need I say more? Just another one of Sedgwick’s genius ideas.

Hats off to you, Marcus Sedgwick, for creating a literary masterpiece.


Oh, how times have changed.


A little over a decade ago,

a woman being strong or powerful

would be harshly judged

looked down upon,



Where a man was a boss,

a woman was bossy.

When a man was smooth,

a woman was a show-off.




Today, it’s different.


Screw housewives,



We’d much rather be

Olympic weightlifters,

martial arts champions,

CEOs, managers, leaders.


The best.


And don’t even get me started

On our language.

Fuck that shit.

We ain’t gonna

speak daintily.


But, like,

A girl with abs

is definitely more worth

anything else.

So is a girl without.

So’s a girl who’s got battle scars from the army.

So’s the girl whose dream is to be the CEO and not a princess.

So is any girl, no matter which race, religion, ethnicity or culture.



this strength? This sheer, unadulterated power?

It’s not masculinity.


It’s femininity.


She loved to read. The way each author would write would be a surprise; each new sentence would bring about a set of completely new emotions altogether. She hung tight to every plot twist, to every dip and turn and new path the story would follow. Each book would set her aquiver, the words and syllables and consonants washing over her, polishing and smoothing her. Like the waves that gently sweep ashore and cleanse the pebbles that litter the beaches, she too would be purified with each new piece of text she could get her hands on.

She loved it all. The bindings (that would differ greatly from one to another, much to her happiness) would be something of great consideration. The smell of each book when opened, be it the leathery redolence of her Grandfather’s journal to the smell of the pages just hot off the press – even to the smell of the coffee she’d once spilled on a novel – all intrigued her. She loved the texture each book held, and oftentimes cradled each page preciously, possessively, as she pored over their contents. She loved the fonts and the ink which conveyed each word, from the dark bold which held anger to the italics which portrayed the kind of sarcasm she so loved to read.

Each new book added to her collection would make her laugh out loud with joy, and the smile she would wear when a favourite author of hers published a new work would light up even the darkest room. Her favourites quotes she wrote up and treasured, stuck up on her walls to create a masterful collection of the best words she’d ever read.

She was really, truly in love, beautiful and glowing without having a person to love. None could ever love books the way she did, so wholly and completely.

She loved books so purely. It was a shame it was them that brought around her end.


He stood, entranced, at the sight in front of him. A sea of tall, green grass waving in the wind, dotted with the purple of lavender and yellow of buttercups dancing with the tall stalks. Accompanying the beautiful sight was the calm breeze that whispered into his ear and the music of the grass swaying to and fro, creating the slightest swish, swish. The clear blue sky just seemed to add further to the serenity, with picturesque white clouds scattered at just the right intervals. The sun shone down, but the air was still cool.

He looked down at his scuffed, dirty shoes and at his worn, old army jacket. Sighing, he threw his head back and closed his eyes. Taking out his hands from his pockets, he stretched them up towards the sky, and then let his hands just flop. He slowly brought his head back down and exhaled quietly. A troubled grimace made its way onto his unshaved, dirty face, revealing two rows of yellowing teeth clutching a cigarette butt.

His back itched with the feeling of being watched. The corners of his mouth lifted up as he slowly turned around to see what was looking at him. Hundreds of wide, haunted eyes looked at him. Eerily quiet, hands reached out to him. Glancing at the ruins of a grey, smog-filled city that lay yonder, a sigh made its way out of him again. The rag-doll like children came forward, still silent and hands still extended. They clambered over the cliff, forcing him to back into the tall grass. Tripping over, his vision was swarmed with faces that held a ghostly pallor, with nothing to indicate life inside these creatures. Thin, bony grey fingers grabbed him as their white rags fluttered in the breeze that was so calming just a few moments ago.

He wanted to resist. Hands and legs flying everywhere, he threw himself around before slowly losing his energy – not that he had much to begin which. He wasn’t much better than the creatures that were in front of him either. He, himself was far from having a healthy flush and meat on his bones.

His mouth lifted up once again, yet the creatures showed no sign of any reaction. They merely stared silently at his face with the same haunted look. Laying his head on the ground, he closed his eyes. The cigarette butt was spit out of his mouth and rolled far into the grass. The sky turned as polluted as the city, and the grass slowly broke into pieces, shattering the world he’d built for himself.

And, finally, he succumbed to the feeling a thousand cold hands grabbing at him.

                Who’s in control?



Say the word, and any artist will have a multitude of reactions. There’ll be those who recoil in horror, those whose face lights up, and those who look somewhat indifferent.

And then there’ll be artists like myself, who will have a multitude of reactions that can’t be classified as one or the other. It depends on the time – sometimes, I look forward to using charcoal. Yet there are other times where I wish such a type of media was never invented and dread using the material.

Bold, daring and simple, it stands out as the basic drawing material. Yet it holds such power and composure; if one were to walk past a drawing with charcoal, they wouldn’t walk away. The artist behind anything involving charcoal surely feels intimidated by the permanent, bold lines that are put forth by a mere stick – prone to breakage at any point in time. The hand behind charcoal always trembles, unsure of how to weld such an important object. Should the pen be mightier than the sword, then what is of charcoal, which is far greater than any pen could ever try to be? It takes extreme skill to use charcoal, and should even the tiniest bit smudge – God, forbid that it smudges – then everything, every last little scrap of whatever has been drawn – should go to waste.

Whether one hates it or loves it, there’s no denying the tranquillity that comes with using charcoal. The focus and determination behind each sure stroke allow the artist to lapse into a state of scary concentration, nothing but the next movement in mind. The sounds narrow into three things: the artist’s own breathing, the sound of their heart beating and – who could forget? – the sound of charcoal rubbing against the teeth of the paper. Imagine the sound of a brittler, thicker pencil that sounds rough when pressed to paper – but it’s soft, too, a bit calming in a way.

And that’s what makes up a session using charcoal – the sound of your breathing, your heartbeat and the sound of the charcoal. The furrow in your brow as you get the next few strokes as precise as possible. The final look over your work once it’s done, hands on hips and a contemplative look etched into your features. The quick readjustments made and the very last slightly-unsatisfied-yet-still-completely-satisfied hmph that just sets the piece alive (in your own mind, at least).

Then, of course, is the regret behind not wearing an apron, getting the dark powder all over your hands – and subsequently your shirt, too, because charcoal pretty much ends up being the bane of your existence in the end.