From Review to Thought Corner

I have a confession. I don’t like reviews. I definitely don’t like writing reviews. I never wanted to write reviews. I never wanted to classify what I write as reviews. Then I started writing blog posts. Reviews seemed like the professional thing to do, if you can call the ones I’ve written so far reviews. No more. I’m going to give my original idea a spin. To some my posts may still read as reviews but I will no longer concern myself with that label.

Why not reviews?

What type of reviews have you read? Probably either helpful or unhelpful ones, right? Of course you have the critics, professionally published online in magazines that don’t really reflect the mind of the average audience. All over the internet you can find bloggers, youtubers and even on some sites that ask for reviews people giving detailed thoughtful insights. Those are the helpful ones, the ones that are interesting to read. Then you get the unhelpful reviews. Mostly negative opinions that don’t give you any insight into their experience or the experience you might have. They just attack the work, creator or both. Negative one word reviews are the most annoying in my opinion.

The thing is all these reviewers have already formed their opinion and what they write only reflects that view they’ve chosen. Positive reviews encourage readers to use or watch something and negative reviews deter the reader. I mean that’s the purpose of reviews. To help someone make an informed decision before buying something. There’s this idea that reviewers, professional ones at least, know what they’re talking about. I’m subconsciously adding that expectation and pressure to myself when I work. I also want to go beyond just helping people make an informed decision. I want to spark discussion. Bring people with similar interests together. Think beyond just my opinion. Imagine ways something could be improved. Looking at story and character elements, how they work. Why the creator chose to direction they took.

I’m no longer going to write reviews. From now on I’m calling them thought corners. A space where I write my thoughts on something, analyse and fantasize what could’ve been done differently. The name change might not seem that different from reviews but it’ll make a world of difference for my mental health. ‘Thought corner’ eases my overthinking and worry of saying or getting something wrong. I am taking something and making it my own.

While I’m writing this I have also settled on how I’m going to rate things, for now. I didn’t want to rate ouf of 10 or use stars. Too basic for me. I thought about it for a while and came up with an idea. Birthstones. I know that means the scale is out of 12 but I can do what I want. Like I’ve said in a past post, I won’t know if my ideas work unless I try them. Here is the order of birthstones for those who don’t know:

1- Garnet

2- Amethyst

3- Aquamarine

4- Diamond

5- Emerald

6- Pearl

7- Ruby

8- Peridot

9- Sapphire

10- Opal

11- Topaz

12- Turquoise

Worst to best is from top to bottom. Sorry if that upsets anyone. I think this will be a fun and unique way to rate things. It’s also a way for me to combine the magic of fictional worlds with the little magic we have in ours. It might be a bit odd that something terrible has a Diamond or Amethyst rating but weirder things have happened.

Thank you for all those reading my ramblings. My first book thought corner will be up soon. I’ll see you all in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Memories By Heather Bos

This was the moment she’d been dreading. She received the news only yesterday but there was a crucial reason to be standing here so soon. Mental and emotional defences prepared like a warrior with her shield and sword at the ready. She looks up at the two-story house, once a place of comfort now a harbinger of despair. A small castle left abandoned by her sister. The tiny key she holds weighs heavy in both hand and heart. One shove of the shield forces that feeling away and she bravely steps towards the front door. On the other side, the soft pitter patter of paws on hardwood greets her ears. Shaky fingers slide the key into the lock. A strained gentle push on the cool wood slowly opens the door with a creak.

Sitting on the other side is a patient springer spaniel, Frost. He stands, tail wagging and tongue hanging free, looking at her with his ears raised in confusion.

“Hey buddy.” she says, trying to sound happy but failing.

Frost ignores her, tail still wagging, he bounds to the threshold. Eyes search frantically outside for his owner to no avail. Frost’s tail falls and his head lowers as he trots upstairs. Sad eyes watch the heartbroken dog.

With sword raised, one step through the barrier, she enters the fray. Everything looks the same yet feels completely different. Everywhere she moves a cloak of unease and emptiness clings to her skin.

Living room to the right, a space of countless joyous memories. Now the air is silent. A foggy no man’s land. Opposite stands a sturdy precious bookshelf where two women stare at her smiling. A photo from a time long passed. Her younger self and her sister, Amber, both blissfully ignorant of what was to come, a world overrun by disease and pain. She reaches out to touch the frame when suddenly the feeling of a gentle hand rests on her shoulder. She whips around; no one’s there. Just an empty room. The feeling lingers on her shoulder, a comforting ethereal hand. Looking back at the picture, she places her hand over the ghostly one. Nothing there but there’s a sense of connection with the presence. A bubble of peace. Her hand lowers and she drifts to the kitchen.

She gathers all of Frost’s necessities as fast as a cheetah. Sword slashing and shield bashing away the hurt that’s threatening to surface until everything is neatly placed in the car. Satisfied she grabs the lead and stands at the bottom of the stairs.

“Frost!” she yells.

Silence.

“Come on boy! Time for a walk.” She calls again, yelling even louder.

Silence.

Hesitant, she ascends.

“Frost?” she calls.

Wherever he is he’s not making a sound. With each step towards the top she silently prays. Don’t be in that room, please don’t be in Amber’s room. 

A long hallway. All the doors are closed except one. Gathering courage, she marches forward. One shaky step at a time.

“Frost?” voice barely above a whisper.

Each step feels like a needle piercing the flesh. Invisible swords hack away at her inner shields.

She’s now standing in the doorway, trying her best to keep the emotional barrier in place. Inside, Frost lies on the end of the bed. He doesn’t move, just briefly glances towards her. His attention swiftly returns to staring at the pillows.

Still at the door, she tries coaxing him from the room.

“Come on Frost. Come on boy”.

Nothing.

Steeling herself, she steps out onto the battlefield.
The room feels delicate, almost as if any sharp movement would shatter even the air into millions of pieces. Every footfall strikes another fracture into the emotional barrier. The illusioned safety of the bed seems an eternity away. At last she perches on the edge next to Frost. Both rest their gaze on the same spot as if Amber would just appear, but she won’t. Her heart-warming presence will never again flood a room. A rough hand meets soft fur. The emotional defences can longer hold together as a tear slides down her cheek. Each new tear cracks the splintering shield and the barrier she’d built to protect herself crumbles into ruin. Everything she was holding back comes flooding out as she crashes onto Frost’s stomach, nuzzling her tear-soaked face into his fur.

Time for an Official Launch!

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. After many months of collecting dust in the forgotten corners of the internet I figured it was time to emerge from the shadows.

This is the official launch of Teatime with Dragons!

I have been working on a few things and I’m aware some posts might seem like old news. Mainly the reviews I’ve done so far but I’m still going to post them. Who knows you might still find them interesting? I can’t make any promises about being more punctual with reviews in the near future.

I have ideas in the works for several regular segments such as highlighting little known content creators/ projects and exploring spirituality within fiction. Of course there’s a lot  more to come with reviews popping up precisely when they mean to. Suggestions are always welcome.

I’ve even decided to showcase my creative writing here. Be on the lookout for Storytime with Dragons for a dose of my own fantasy. Or horror. Or sci-fi. Depends on what comes out of my head.

I am beyond excited for what’s to come. The future is bright and I’m happy to have such sparkling souls join me on the quest for the golden fleece. I’m here and ready to learn.

I’ll see you all in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/heart-shaped-fireworks-862516/ Photographer: Kartik Gupta

https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-with-fireworks-769525/ Photographer: Rakicevic Nenad