LEXICAL GAP Issue No. 12
White-Harp and her baby bro Chubby together at Joshua Tree National Park

Happy New Year!'s 2017 and it is officially my debut year. I'm not gonna lie; the last three months or so of 2016 were rather rough for me—creatively, mentally, physically, emotionally—but with the turning of the year, I feel a bit more psychologically prepared to face whatever is ahead. Like my book launch. In less than five weeks. I just. WHAT.

I'm not much of a resolution person, but I will admit that I didn't even come close to achieving the goals I had set out for myself last year. Some of those were due to external factors, but a lot of last year was trying to find my footing and keep myself from wobbling out of control. I've been open about my bipolar disorder, but I prefer to keep the dirty details between myself and my most intimate circle. Still, I found myself struggling in ways I hadn't since I was a teenager, and a lot of 2016 was reflecting, meditating, and reconsidering my coping mechanisms and strategies. I went back on medication, which helped immensely, but the greater part of my reconfiguring of self had to do with managing my creativity.

Writing is is a curious thing: it is a creative outlet, but once you become published, it is also a job. There is this persistent, dangerous, and destructive myth of the manic artist, and while I've certainly been creative while manic, none of it is particularly coherent or productive. For me, creativity takes discipline and focus, and I am capable of neither when I don't have clarity. Writing was a job now; I needed to treat it as such.

And I did—just not the creative aspects of it. I was diligent about promotion, marketing, publicity, small business management, budgeting, finances, etc. but when it came to writing, to creating, to genesis, I let myself pretend the mundane minutiae of being an Author was productivity instead of procrastination. I ignored focus for discipline, something I am able to do when manic or depressed, but I was so terrified of letting control slip that I completely stifled myself. 

So instead of making resolutions this year, I am going to choose a word and meditate on said word throughout 2017. And based upon my failures from last year, the word I have chosen for 2017 is Focus. I will spend this year focusing on clarity, on discipline, and on balance, and hope it will illuminate the path to fulfilling my goals.

Lexical Gap: Dornröschenschlaf

Literally "Sleeping Beauty sleep," Dornröschenschlaf means a state of inaction. As in, I am now one month out from the release of Wintersong, so I am in a state of inaction, waiting for my prince to come wake me up...or my book to be published. Am I antsy? Nope, not in the least. What are you talking about?

In this issue:

1. LEXICAL GAP: Dornröschenschlaf
2. On Carrie Fisher
3. Wintersong Launch Party!

Carrie Fisher as General Organa

On Carrie Fisher

When David Bowie passed at the beginning of last year, I didn't know then just how terrible 2016 would be on my childhood influences and idols. Bowie, Rickman, Prince, so many have left us that it sometimes makes me wonder just what they saw coming down the pike for us in 2017.

It seems fitting in the most awful way then that 2016 would be bookended by the deaths of two of the biggest idols of my life. I've written about Bowie before, and now it's time to write about Carrie Fisher. Last month I touched on bipolar disorder and how I wrote Liesl as a reflection of myself in that way. The person who enabled me to do so was Carrie Fisher, who was the first person—first famous person—I admired who wrote and spoke openly and honestly about her struggles with mental illness. 

I first encountered Carrie Fisher as many others did: as Princess Leia in A New Hope. I was an enormous Star Wars fan (I even read a good number of the Extended Universe novels before they were deemed not canon), but what I loved about Leia was that she wasn't just a princess: she was a rebel, a leader, a warrior, and later in life, a general. I loved that The Force Awakens showed us Leia as General Organa because it showed me that this fierce, firebrand of a princess was still fighting. Still kicking ass.

In those years between movies, I read a lot of Fisher's work, including her novel Postcards from the Edge. It was one of the first honest portrayals of someone living with mental illness I had read, but where I really connected with Carrie Fisher was in her autobiographical writing. Wishful Drinking made me laugh so hard I choked on an olive. (I have a bad tendency of snacking while reading.) Shockaholic was probably the most affecting for me, which delved into her experiences with electroshock therapy, but also her complicated relationships with her mother and famous players in her complicated life—namely her father and Elizabeth Taylor. Fisher had a gift of deflecting darkness with a laugh, but it was the darkness in her I loved.

So here's to you, Carrie. Thank you for being a badass bipolar broad, and for showing me I could be one too.

Wintersong Launch Party!

WHEN:    Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 7:00PM
WHERE:   Vroman's Bookstore
                 695 E Colorado Blvd
                 Pasadena, CA 91101
WITH:      Marie Lu and Roshani Chokshi!

I'm so excited to announce that my launch party will be at my hometown bookstore of Vroman's in Pasadena! If any of y'all are in the LA area, I would love it if you'd stop by. I'll tell stories about how all my writer friends are made via stalking them on social media—uh, I mean...


Wintersong: A Makeup Look

I'm no Renee Ahdieh or Roshani Chokshi, but I do like makeup. I've done a Goblin King makeup tutorial before, but this is just a makeup look inspired by my cover. Also because I had some glittery eyeshadow lying around that I wanted to use for something

ANYWAY. I'll try and describe how to apply as best I can, since I didn't take any process photos. Also, I do realize that the products I've used making this look aren't exactly on the cheap end, but I'll show you the color so hopefully you can find a dupe at your local drugstore. (Bear in mind, part of this look also involved a $10 eyeshadow palette I picked up at Claire's.)

1. Apply the foundation of your choice.

Concealer can be done at the end to clean up any fall-down from your eyeshadow.

2. Apply an eyeshadow primer.

I use Urban Decay's primer potion, but any primer of your choice is fine.

3. Apply a blue shimmer wash to the center of your eyelid. Also apply beneath the eye, taking care not to bring the color too close to the inner eyelid.

I used the color Shattered from...a rather shamefully old Urban Decay palette, which I'm pretty sure they don't make anymore. I'm not even sure if Urban Decay makes this color, but their Haight shade is pretty close.

4. Apply a white sparkly-shimmer to the inner corner of your eye, bringing it in about a third of the way on both the upper and lower eyelids.

I used Polyester Bride, which I know for a fact Urban Decay still makes.

5. Take a darker blue shimmer and apply it to the outer third of your eyelid, including along the outer third of the lashline.

I used Vega from Urban Decay's Moondust palette.

6. Take a warm, dusky matte lavender color and apply to your socket (above the blue), sweeping it in towards your nose.

I used Buon Fresco from Anastasia's Modern Renaissance palette. The point of a warm matte color through the socket is to give a bit of a base for the darker glitter we'll be using later, and also to give a bit of variety.

7. Apply a dark grey glittery color over the lavender.

I used Graphite from Urban Decay's Moondust palette. I like this color because although it's grey, it's a fairly neutral grey, and it's shot through with bits of gold rather than silver.

8. Take the shimmery white color again and highlight beneath the brow.


9. Take a white eyeliner pencil and line the inner third of your waterline. Take a metallic blue eyeliner pencil and line the rest of your lower waterline.

I used Make Up For Ever's Aqua XL eye pencil in No. I-24 for the blue and a generic white eyeliner for the rest.

10. Take a black eyeliner (I used gel) to line your upper waterline as well as tight-line along the lashes. Wing out very slightly.


11. Glitter!

Cheap glitter does the job. I don't even think this palette from Claire's has a name. I used the blue along my upper lashline, over the black eyeliner.

12. Apply falsies. (Optional)


13. Clean up under the eye with concealer. 


14. Apply contour and/or blush as desired.

I used Benefit's Dandelion for blush because it's a really pretty natural pink, which I like, since wearing foundation tends to wash me out.

15. Apply highlighter to the tops of cheekbones.


16. Apply a matte dusky rose color to the lips.

Et voila! You have a Wintersong makeup look. People often ask me if I have any tips for eyeshadow application, and my honest answer is this: Watch lots of YouTube videos, and invest in good brushes. Blending is key.
White-Harp and I braved a snowstorm for you so we could get this photo.
I really am terrible with makeup instructions. I'll try to do better next time. Honestly, I'm not the sort of person who wears a lot of makeup on daily basis, although I love playing around. Maybe I'll wear this to my launch party. I don't have many other occasions to wear a full-on look, except to go to the grocery store.
Off to the grocery store!

Further Reading

Previous Issues of Lexical Gap

My name is S. Jae-Jones, but JJ, if you please. I'm an artist, adrenaline junkie, and author Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in Winter 2017. 

Mailing Address

Uncreated Conscience
c/o Jill Grinberg Literary Management
392 Vanderbilt Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

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