Finished the Chapter! On to the next…


I did it, I finished Chapter Four today. I had a lot of new content to pile on in there, a lot of plot asides and tangents that just took themselves away and played out into the next thing. 

I always find it funny how my characters lead me where they need to go. I never really think about it, it’s just the logical progression and man how they take me away! Sometimes I feel as if this world that I’ve “created” I haven’t even created at all, that it exists somewhere already and I’m just picking up the pieces and writing down the story. I had a vague image of the town in which my characters end up in this chapter, but it changed into something completely different as I wrote it. It feels a lot more tangible the way it is now. It’s like when you have this idea of a place you’re going to visit for the first time. You have this expectation, this loose imagine in your head, but when you arrive it’s like nothing you could have imagined. That’s how I feel about the places in my novel. I have this whimsical idea of them when I’m writing the outline, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty description it’s totally different, but I feel that it’s the way it is supposed to be once it’s been written down in its full format.

I feel as if the muses guided my hand a lot this past chapter and I thank them whole heartedly.

The thing I really struggled with most of all today was finding the right music to write to. I have to write to purely instrumental music, preferably stuff from movies I don’t know because otherwise I spend the duration of the song figuring out where it’s from. It also hasto have the right tone to what I’m writing about, otherwise I just lose myself in other thoughts. My absolute favourite website for music while I’m writing is Infinite Tracks. I have a few playlist creators that I follow but I find the majority of the music I listen to on there, be it for writing or just enjoyment.

So, another day of writing down. While, I might be going to work tomorrow I hope to get half a chapter out, if not more. I think the next one might be a shorter one, but I always aim for roughly 7 pages, single spaced.

Alright diligent readers, keep on keepin’ on.

Ps. This is post #100! Woo! Celebrations and what not!

Advertisements

City of Bones or Completely Irrelevant Title


***Be warned, plot spoilers ahead***

I just burnt through City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. When I say “burnt through” I mean that I read the trade-paper back copy in 8 days. It was an easy read.

Now, it was an interesting story and creative, I will give Clare that. But I have some concerns, many concerns in fact.

First off, McElderry Books needs to hire some new editors. I came across grammatical errors left, right and centre. These were pissing me off to no end, because if you’re going to publish a book at least read it carefully first! When I read my writing over and find grammatical mistakes I feel like a complete fool if anyone has read it. If those mistakes were mass-published world-wide I would he horrified. Now, I’m sure Clare probably doesn’t give a rat’s ass because, well she was published. But, seriously McElderry Books, get some good workers for crying out loud!

Now, the fact that Clare’s editors didn’t point out that she uses similes like they’re going out of style makes me wonder if anyone edited this book at all. Every single description is a simile. When Clare finally got around to describing something without one I was ready to throw her a parade. That’s right Clare, descriptions don’t ALWAYS need “like” or “as.”

City of Bones’ title is completely irrelevant to the whole of the plot. This whole book has 23 chapters plus an epilogue and half of one chapter is spent in the actual City of Bones. How does this warrant the title? How?!

As for the plot, sometimes it was exciting. Clare can write a decent fight scene, I’ll give her that. But her main character Clary (with a name very similar to the author’s… draw your own conclusions) was inconsistent. I found that she seemed to get weaker minded as the story went on. When it started she was all sass and attitude, then she became a scared little girl who couldn’t do much but run up to her convictions and she “Oh, hi.” Yes, her circumstances were more dire by the end, but still a strong character rises to the occasion, learns from their follies and becomes stronger, much like strong people. That’s why we like them. But Clary… I didn’t feel like there was any growth at all.

One thing that annoyed me was that there was no explanation of where Angels, whom the Shadowhunters are descended from, come from. Demons come from other dimensions and so one, Downworlders are half demons or infected with a demon disease, but where the hell do Angles come from? There were churches, but no mention of any religion. The one time that God was brought up, we were told not to think about him because he wouldn’t help, that is if he existed. If anyone who is supposed to be as well read and clever as Clary were thrust into this world how would you not think to ask what an Angel is exactly if you’re supposed to be half of one? “I don’t know who I am now that I’m half Angel, but hey no need to know what that means.” I’m compelled to read the rest of the series just to see if Clare will ever explain herself on this. 

Now for the biggest cop-out of the book. The whole love triangle. Let’s face it, in all books of this particular persuasion there is a love triangle and when done right, we love it. Yes, I’ll admit it. But the whole point is the struggle of the triangle. Clare up and turned the new love interest in Clary’s life into her brother so now she could be in love with her best friend Simon and still love the new man in her life, Jace, but with sibling affection so it’s ok to love both of them. The fact that these two characters made-out at one point was only briefly touched upon and didn’t seem to disturb Clary at all, only slightly embarrass her. Also, after not talking about it these two new found siblings were perfectly content being buddy-buddies. I’m sorry Clare, but I will suspend my disbelief for the supernatural beings, for the shiny mystical weapons, but this? No, Clare. Human emotion and reaction is not something you can gloss over.

But, let’s be honest I will read the other books because I bought the second and third books already. I don’t hate the book, I actually kind of like it, in that “I love this movie because it’s terrible” kind of way. It did it’s job, it took me out of my life and entertained me.

So, despite my better judgement I’m hoping that some of these flaws will be addressed and corrected in the sequel. What can I say, I’m an optimist at heart.

Despite everything, this book has taught me a valuable lesson. Don’t submit anything to anyone until you’re absolutely sure you’ve worked out all the kinks.

Normally, now’s when I’d tell you to either pick up a copy or run for the hills when you see it, but today I’m no the fence. You’ve heard what I’ve had to say, it’s in your hands.

Obsessed. Thanks Snyder.


So, despite my long blog absence I’ve actually been reading. I powered through my final exams, with better grades than I ever thought my brain capable of. And so, on a very busy Christmas Eve I bought myself a present: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder. It’s the second in her Healer series. Yes, I know I go on and on about Snyder, but her fantasy just captures my mind and I just can’t stop. It’s an obsession, and now I have to wait however long it takes her to write and publish the third in the series, Taste of Death. 12027429

Snyder’s heroines are made of the stuff that all strong young girls want to be made of. Avry in particular is as stubborn and clever as they come, something I too aspire to. This is why her heroines are so relatable, if you’re not like them you want to be like them.

Not to mention Avry’s wide cast of cohorts are so loveable you can’t help but want to read on about their antics.

Now Snyder’s villans, what can I say really? She’s great at making you love to hate them. Tohon, the ruthless war-lord and maniac, just makes you want to reach into the book and rip that bastard’s head off. While his minions are just as conniving and evil as he is, but not as ruthless.

Snyder has once again captured my praises. And, unlike Touch of Power, Scent of Magic was not as easy to guess the outcome of. In Touch of Power I had so many “oh come on, how have you NOT figured that out yet?” moments with Arvy’s character. But in Scent of Magic Avry was always one step ahead of me, which while reading I prefer.

So kudos Snyder on a fantastic fantasy, that will have me reeling for the third book until I’m cuddled up with it in my couch. And if you could release it during a semester break like Scent of Magic, you’d be doing me a real solid. But if it’s over a year from now, I should be done with school so don’t worry about it then.

Today


I’ve done it again.

I’ve started ANOTHER novel idea. I haven’t even hit half-way in my first novel which I’ve been working on sporadically for over 5 years!

Muses, why must you overcome me with a million different ideas? Is it too much to ask you ladies to just give me enough motivation and inspiration in regards to the first, unfinished project? It would appear that the Muses are just as unpredictable as most women. Although, I’m sure to them their actions make perfect sense.

Today, I started something. Something much darker than I thought was in me. I didn’t realize how this would come out, I thought I would turn it around at the last moment, end up making a joke of it. It came out too dark to be any joke. This heroine’s strength is unique, nothing that I’ve encountered in any of my others.  She’s not someone I could ever relate to on any deep level, and yet I want to see her survive, I want to see her fight, I want to see her win. She has more strength than I ever would in her situation. Where did she come from?

I surprised myself today, I don’t ever remember such a shadow in my writing, such a linger gloom. I don’t know where it was going or where it will end in the future, all I know is I want to see this nameless girl survive, I want to see her live. I want to give her the chance anyways.

Seeing Opens the Eyes


While I was off on a ship I managed to finish Seeing by José Saramago, and I was not disappointed. Many reassured me that I would not be, I never really doubted Saramago. Image

The book begins with no real indication that it is connected to Blindess, but slowly Saramago reveals details indicating that this story is taking place four years after the epidemic of white blindness that plagued the country in Blindness.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Saramago’s style focuses on the political repercussions of the plot events before delving into any specific characters. The interesting thing about Saramago’s style is that no one is given a name. The characters are called by their professional titles or a obvious physical quality, such as “The minister of justice” or “the girl with the dark glasses.” I find this style refreshing and clearly pointed. By doing this Saramago allows his characters to be universal, that is to say, able to conform to any imagination, country, etc. Saramago has allowed his characters to be more relatable or distant than many authors have been able to achieve, simply by omitting their names.

Saramago’s characters left me with a restored faith in humanity and a radiating distain for government. Saramago has no reservations when it comes to his opinion about corrupt government and their irrational, immoral, and ridiculous ways of governing. I don’t usually read politically saturated books, I don’t even like to discuss politics, but Saramago’s work makes the subject breach-able and even likeable.

Seeing is a must read for anyone who has read Blindness. The two are a must read for anyone interested in serious fiction. Saramago’s style is amazing, despite the not so fantastic translation. Image

Saramago explains a unique and ultimately poetic truth about language throughout his book as a sort of side to his main plot and themes. I’ll leave you with one of the lines from Seeing that expresses the eloquence and brilliance of Saramago.

“It is interesting to observe, he said, how the meanings of words change without our noticing, how we often use them to mean precisely the opposite of what they used to mean and which in a way, like a fading echo, they still continue to mean.”

How Comical.


Do you remember the newspaper funnies? Those quippy little cartoons that we read as kids while our parents read the paper? I do, and I’ve noticed that they’re still around. But I never pick up a paper anymore. If I want the news all I have to do is read my facebook newsfeed. Without a doubt everyone will be commenting on the latest news, so why bother with the paper?

This could get me going on a whole shpeel about how paper publications are slowly sinking into the abyss of  former technologies. But I digress.

I’ve become intoxicated by web-comics. My ex-boyfriend (who from here on will be referred to as “Flannel”) got me into them. In the winter when I was held captive in my own bed by pneumonia I went on a hunt for web-comics. I spent hours upon hours reading comics until my eyes were completely blood-shot from my computer screen. I’ve since toned down my need for panel lives, but I still hold two in high esteem.

The first, which is the first and only web-comic that Flannel introduced me to is Questionable Content. I began reading this comic over two years ago, which is a far shorter time then comic creator Jeph Jacques has been writing it. I spent weeks, count ’em weeks, catching up. Now, Jeph has written over 2000 strips. Kudos to you Jeph.

The QC cast is a bunch of twenty-something hippster-type people with personalities ranging from coy to dysfunctional to just purely entertaining. These characters are extremely relatable, they remind me that everyone’s got their own shit to deal with. I’ve personally fallen in love with every character that Jeph has introduced me to (I even kind of have a crush on Martin). If you look at the world through the scope of QC you tend to categorize people through the characters, I know I do. I find myself thinking “What a Marigold.” or “How Pintsize of you!” I consider myself to be a gentler-type Faye. One of my best friends (who will from here on be referred to as “Cindy-Lou”) reminded me of Hannelore, without all the neuroses .

I urge you, if you have to yet experienced the humorous, drama-filled, life-affirming wonder that is QC do so.

QC is not my only animated love affair. Jeph, in all his wisdom, led me to Girls with Slingshots, another addiction of mine. I stumbled across one of Jeph’s many links when he mentioned Danielle Corsetto’s comic in his comments about his own comic of the day. Well, finding Jeph to have a nack about comics I decided to take his advice and check out the Girls. 

GwS has two main characters, Hazel “The Lush” Tellington, and Jamie “The Rack” McJack. These two are supported by an amazing cast. Hazel is a screw-up most of the time, and Jamie couldn’t be more extraverted if she were constantly on ecstasy. I love these girls.

I spent another few weeks catching up on GwS and loved every minute of it. Danielle has yet to hit 1500 strips, but is fast approaching it. Her light-hearted approach to sex as a natural, common, and at times humours thing is what caught me in the first place. Danielle has little reservations in the “shock” department, she tells it like it is, but in a fun up-beat way. Her personality and the personalities of her characters are fantastic! I would totally be BFFs (I use this acronym in a tongue in cheek sort of way) with her if I could. But, sadly I’m just a lowly fan girl.

GwS is another comic I strongly urge you to immerse yourself in. When you’re feeling low, GwS, no matter the topic always makes you smile.

These are two love-affairs I happily share with you. Jeph and Danielle get five gold stars in my books, and baked goods if I could provide them with such, but muffins don’t tend to travel well via mail.