Changes and makeovers


Don’t be alarmed. For some of you reading this from your emails or Reader, you’re probably wondering who the hell this person is and when did you start following them but like I said, don’t be alarmed, my blog was in serious need of a makeover, so here it is.

The timing is not accidental. Last month was my two year blog anniversary which WordPress was kind enough to inform me about. And also this, boys and girls, happens to be my 100th post! WooHoo!

So, it is a double milestone but the need for change also got me thinking about the choices that we make. And I’m not talking about big, life-changing decisions here. I’m talking about the little things, things that might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things but actually reveal a lot about who we are, our tastes and attitudes and how we present ourselves in cyberspace. Our Facebook pictures, the wallpaper on our Twitter profiles, even the passwords we create and of course, the themes we choose for our blogs. 😉

blog screenshot (2)

Now I’m not the type that settles for the first thing that I see. I love to customize and change things to suit me so it’s strange that everything (apart from the green background which I chose later on) was exactly what was ‘given’ to me when I first joined WordPress. It was the default theme and default head picture. I guess it was expected of me to change it but I didn’t. I kept it as is. But I did have a reason.

When I first saw the picture, a certain book sprang to mind and I saw it as a sign.

My aim in starting this blog was to journal my thoughts on my writing, my short stories, to monitor my progress and to learn from others. I thought it fitting therefore that the figure of the lone man walking down the country path surrounded by trees looked a lot like the cover of M.R James’ Collected Ghost Stories, one of my favourite books ever. I don’t think I talk about Montague Rhodes James too often but I consider him one of my favourite authors on the strength of this book alone. Obviously the book cover is not as warm and pastoral as my former blog theme picture but the similarities were still there. Hence the reason for keeping it.

M.R James

That was two years ago and this is now. Change is good and I thought the name should go as well. In Verbum Scriptum means the ‘the written word’. There’s power in the written word, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, and there can only be progress once you write things down.

It was also strange that I chose green before, as it’s not one of my favourite colours. Perhaps it went with the picture. Purples and blues are my favourite colours however, so there you have it.
Hope you like it. I’m still experiencing some teething problems with this new theme so I will still be making some changes like a new picture header and so forth, but tell me what you think in the mean time…

So tell me, bloggers, what was the motivation for the blog theme you currently have? Is it as sentimental as mine was?

NM :)

DAY 08 of Book Challenge – Book that scares you


Now you would think I’d be in my element right now, being a horror addict and everything but initially I found this very difficult.

My first thought was to choose M.R James’ Collected Ghost Stories. There is a reason why he’s considered England’s King of the Ghost story. This collection contains some of the scariest short stories I’ve ever read. But I’m assuming however that this topic means I have to pick an actual novel per se.

After thinking a bit, I considered Karen Maitland’s Company Of Liars and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian but in retrospect, these were bland considerations.
I also nearly chose Poe’s The Pit And The Pendulum which I read when I was in school and which had a decidedly macabre effect on my young mind, only to be reminded that it was in fact a short story as well.
I ran through all the Stephen King, John Connelly, Peter Straub and Dean Koontz books I’ve read in my lifetime and I came to only one conclusion. Some books are called classics for a reason. Even while thinking about all these other great horror novels, Bram Stoker’s Dracula just did not want to leave me alone. I did not want to consider it initially for fear of appearing too mainstream and superficial but it kept invading my thoughts like how the Count kept intruding on Mina’s.
Throughout my life, I have read so many different editions of Dracula- a children’s’ version (yes it does exist), many abridged versions, all down to my very own full-length Penguin Classics copy.

Dracula by Bram Stoker, after fighting very valiantly in my mind, has officially taken its place as my No.1 scariest book.

So is it really scary? Or is this one of those cases where we have to make provisions for the conservative Victorian mindset and take the very first audience’s reaction into consideration rather than our own?
I might be bias here but flippin’ hell, you can bet your holy rose water it’s scary!
I will admit that there are some Dickensian instances where the prose goes on a little ramble (I wonder if those Victorians really did write that superfluously in their journals?).

Gary Oldman, my favourite Dracula


There are many singular moments that make up for it however. The scariest scene ever for me, from ANY book in fact, is the one where Jonathan Harker is waiting at the Borgo pass for the special carriage to take him to the Castle.
No movie version of Dracula has ever come close to the book in capturing the terror and fear of this scene in my opinion.

There are other notable passages but I could be here all day.

I hope everybody will start to understand my aversion to modern vampire fiction now. After reading Dracula, you really can’t take the likes of Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyer seriously anymore. Well I can’t anyway.