Wrap it up and put a bow on it!

This blog was for my fiction writing class this semester and it’s coming quickly to an end. You’d think I’d be happy but I’m actually sad. I really liked my classes this semester, I’ve learned so much about writing and I feel like I have transformed into a much stronger one. My lit class was also an exciting ride, I love learning about classic writers’ and their lives. Makes me a little scared though, I’d like to be a good writer but I also don’t want to be psychotic or suicidal…

Hopefully I’ll get accepted into the university I applied to for the fall, I really want to get started with my degree. In the meanwhile, I’ll enjoy my summer! It will consist of mostly work, a few beach trips, sleep, and cross-stitching. Work won’t be too bad though, I get to see puppies all day!

I saw the new Power Rangers movie last night with my boyfriend and let me say, it was AMAZING!! Brought back old memories, I used to love watching Power Rangers! Check out the trailer and go watch it if you’re a fan. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

I hope to do a lot of reading this summer, probably lots of poetry because I have neglected it this semester… I just wrote a paper on a book by Mary Wollstonecraft (the mother of Mary Shelley) called Maria or The Wrongs of Woman and it was life changing. I wont say too much about it, but you should look into it and read it if you are a feminist at all.

This might be my last post, but you never know, I might post more if I feel the need to vent my feelings. So stay tuned if you’re interested! I may post some poems or short stories for you guys to read…

I hope all of you have a wonderful summer!

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Make Room! Make Room! For another book review!

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It’s that time again, another book review is hurtling your way! This book MESSED ME UP. I’d like to say in a good way, I mean it’s kind of in a good way, but it just hit me so hard. This book is Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison and it’s 284 pages long.

“One time we had the whole world in our hands, but we ate it and burned it and it’s gone now.”

This is a dystopian novel takes place in 1999 in New York City about the overpopulation of the earth. The world became overpopulated because contraception was outlawed and medicine improved, so less people were dying and more were being born. It showcases several different characters with a third person omniscient POV, Andrew, Billy Chung, and Shirl. The story begins with Andrew who is an investigator but had been forced into manual police work because of the condition of New York where he lives. People live in the streets, food is scarce and therefore rationed, there are ongoing riots for food and water along with the old people rioting for their right to work. Billy Chung is a young Asian boy who puts himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is wanted for murder. Shirl is a woman just trying to make it in the rough world she lives in.

The descriptions of the squalor everyone lives in are just horrifying. People are starving to death every day, contracting diseases from malnourished, selling themselves so that they can support themselves and their family. The environment has changed, heatwaves with record temperatures plague New York City with no relief except for those rich enough to afford air conditioning.

Not the kind of world anybody would want to live in, but its so realistic that it just hits you right in the gut. The way the world is right now… it’s not promising. We are already bursting at the seams, exhausting every natural resource and destroying the soil. This book was outstanding, very well written. I always love when multiple characters stories intertwine even though they aren’t always related. This book took me on twists and turns through this screwed up world that could one day, hopefully not soon, be our own.

There isn’t really anything I can say I disliked about this book. The ending maybe.. I wont spoil it for anyone. I wouldn’t say it ends badly, just unexpected.

Overall, this book was life altering. It made me look at the world differently and with even more care than before. I think that everyone should read this book because I think it would change a lot of minds and make people more willing to go farther for the environment.

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It’s Monday & I’m Tired.

That girl has the right idea. Too bad I’m the worst at taking naps… when I take “naps”, it usually means falling asleep on the couch around 10:30pm, waking up at 11:30pm and dragging myself to bed.

These past couple of weeks have been crazy, started a new job, wrote a paper, edited stories, I’m just a wound up mess right now if I’m being completely honest. My new job has me driving a lot so let’s just wait and see how long it takes for the road rage to set in. If people weren’t so awful, I wouldn’t have to rage!

I’m sure you’re wondering, how does she read when she’s so busy?! Well, if you enjoy doing something, you’ll make time for it.  I usually try to read right before bed, it helps me relax and push my day away from my mind. The only thing about reading before bed is that you can easily fall asleep, but hey, we do what we can right?

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I’m sure you’ve heard of the book called Mazerunner by James Dashner, there was a movie that was made a couple of years ago also. This is the prequel of the prequel novel. I know, a little confusing but take that up with Dashner. This book is The Fever Code by James Dashner and I’ve read 156 pages so far and it’s amazing!

Whatever he had expected, he never could have dreamed up what he saw next. It was impossible to tell its shape; the creature was wet and glistening, with patches of hair covering parts of its surface. But there was metal too- flashes of steel appendages, and sharp disks protruding from the quivering mass. Thomas watched the hideous creature push itself over the lip of the container and crash down to the floor, revealing a sluglike body about the size of a small cow. -Thomas

Scary, right? The Mazerunner movie portrayed the creatures completely wrong (just saying). Anyways, this book tells the story of how the maze was built, who built it, and why. It’s really cool because it connects all of the characters from the other books and it all just starts making sense! I’m excited to see how things piece together.

All right, that’s about all I’ve got today. Since it’s Monday, I’ll leave you with an Olan Rogers video, the master of Monday storytelling. This is my favorite story that he has shared.

 

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In a Dark, Dark Wood Review!

In a Dark Dark Wood

I read In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, it had 352 pages. I read this book in one day. I could not put it down once I started. I would categorize it as being a mystery/thriller and man was it thrilling! It starts out with the main character, Nora, running through the woods from something and then ending up in the hospital. Most of the book is kind of like a flashback to what happened over the weekend. Nora gets an email from a girl named Flo informing her that she was invited to her old friend Clare’s “hen day”. Nora is confused because she hadn’t spoken to Clare in over 10 years. She corresponded with her college friend Nina who was also invited, and they decided to accompany each other to this bachelorette party. The venue is a big glass house in the middle of the woods (who in their right mind would stay in a GLASS HOUSE in the middle of NOWHERE?!). The whole time, Nora is racking her brain trying to figure out why she was invited to the party. The whole time she is hiding a big secret from the reader and all other characters, something awful happens in the house and Nora tries to remember what happened.

I have a few quotes from this book that I really liked!

“People don’t change,” Nina said bitterly. “They just get more punctilious about hiding their true selves.” – Nina

There was something strangely naked about it, like we were on a stage set, playing our parts to an audience of eyes out there in the wood. – Nora

I absolutely loved the concept of this book. I usually like movies like Revenge of the Bridesmaids and Bridesmaids because the conflict is just hilarious. This book kind of has the same concept but something really really awful happens an its not sabotage of the wedding dress. This isn’t my usual genre, but I wanted to challenge myself. It’s like a mystery/thriller so as the reader you are being tossed around on an ocean of uncertainty. Nora, the main character and narrator, is what is called an “unreliable narrator” which means that the reader cant really trust them. I like how the author created that by making the main character have memory loss. Nora is in the hospital and knows something horrible has happened but she cant remember what it is. So that makes her a suspect in whatever had happened. I loved all the turns this book takes, at one point you think person A did it, then person B but OH WAIT A MINUTE maybe it’s this person… It’s just one big, fun, wild goose chase! I also appreciated the depth that Ruth Ware put into her characters. Each one was unique in their own way which made figuring out the mystery even harder! I also liked that Nora is a writer, so as an aspiring writer it was fun to read a story in a writer’s point of view.

You’d think people would be wary of spilling to a writer. You’d think they’d know that we’re essentially birds of carrion, picking over the corpses of dead affairs and forgotten arguments to recycle them in our work—zombie reincarnations of their former selves, stitched into a macabre new patchwork of our own devising. – Nora

There wasn’t much that I disliked about this book. The one thing I would say got on my nerves was the excessive use of f-bombs. I know, I know, sometimes it’s more realistic. I think you can write an amazing story without having to make your characters curse like sailors. That’s really my only complaint, this book was amazing so it made up for what I just described.

So yeah. Overall this book was epic; I read it in one day and though I am a quick reader, usually I don’t often finish them in one day. This book was a wonderful combination of funny, witty, suspenseful, and downright scary!

I didn’t put any spoilers in this review for a reason. There are SO MANY and it would ruin the entire book if I revealed them. All I can tell you is that someone ends up dead and everyone suffers. If you wanna find out so bad, then go read it! I got it for like $4 at Books-A-Million, it was in the bargain books section. Best $4 I ever spent!

Until next time! Keep on reading.

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Me On: Steven King- On Writing

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This book is On Writing by Stephen King (291 pages). So I’ll start this out like any other book review. It starts with 3 forewords where King talks about why he decided to write this book. Then he goes into his own story, his childhood, and how he discovered his writing talent. After that, he goes over several topics about writing and the mechanics of it.

This book was just outstanding. When I first started this book I was concerned that because it was a book about writing, it would be boring. I was completely wrong! This book actually kept me hooked. I learned so much about King that I had never known before. When I was finished with this book, I didn’t feel like I’d read a book, I felt more like I had just been listening to King talk to me personally for days. I felt like he was a friend or something which sounds weird, I know, but that’s such a cool thing for a reader to feel.

“Thin description leaves the reader feeling bewildered and nearsighted. Over description buries him or her in details and images. the trick is to find a happy medium… I’m not particularly keen on writing which exhaustively describes the physical characteristics of the people in the story and what they’re wearing.” – Stephen King

The topic that he covered that I enjoyed the most and felt like I benefited from would be the section on description. I agree with King that writing that has too much description buries the reader in details. He says that it’s not really about what the character looks like, the reader is more interested in the development of said character and story. This is very important advice in my opinion.

“To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. by then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s – gasp!! – too late.” – Stephen King on adverbs

I also enjoyed reading his section on dialogue and adverbs. People sometimes don’t pay enough attention to how a character speaks in their writing but that is a bad thing. The way a character speaks tells us so much about them without having to describe anything. The section on adverbs is great too, King really hates adverbs and after reading this book,  so do I! I never knew how annoying and pointless they are. Adverbs aren’t all bad, it’s really about how the writer uses them and how frequently. King basically says that if you show the reader what is happening in the situation, adverbs to describe character action are unnecessary.

After reading this book, I feel like I’ve gotten some unique and helpful advice about writing. I also know more about Stephen King and am now inspired to read a few of his novels. He really knows his stuff and you can tell by the quality of information. He was so snarky and blunt in this and I loved it because to get a point across, you have to be. Also, he and his wife are ADORABLE!!

 

 

 

I definitely recommend this book to any beginning or seasoned writer. Everyone could use a little advice, especially from the King!!

Until next time my friends! Keep writing!

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It’s Monday and I’m Reading About Writing!

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I have been reading On Writing by Stephen King and I have read 140 pages so far. When I first started this book, I was concerned that it might be boring just because it’s a book about writing but I am pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. I haven’t read any of Stephen King’s books but I love the way he writes this one. It is very in-formal and I like that, it makes it a more interesting read. I also liked how he included a large portion of the book that told us more about his life. I had no idea he went through so much to get where he is. It gives beginning writers like me hope that I can get somewhere if I keep trying. I’ve just now gotten into the writing advice so you’ll have to wait till next week for the entire review!

“Someone out there is not accusing me of being tiresome and anal-retentive. I deny it. I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.” -Stephen King

So one of my favorite movies is Troy. You know, the story of the fall of Troy and the mighty Achilles? I watched it again this weekend because it happened to be on TV and my Wi-Fi is down at home so I thought, why not? I have always loved the time of gladiators and Greek mythology so this movie is epic and if you haven’t seen it, you definitely should. there are so many amazing quotes from this movie here are a couple of my favorites:

“I’ll tell you a secret. Something they don’t teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.” -Achilles

Gives me chills! Please go watch this movie!

“If they ever tell my story let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles.” – Odysseus

Here’s the trailer if you’re interested (you should be).

 

 

There’s also a book called The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller that is a VERY good read. It’s actually a lot different from the movie Troy, but it was a refreshing new take on the story I always knew. If you enjoy warriors, Greek gods, and war, then you’ll love this book. Miller’s interpretation is very unique.

Until next time my friends!

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Book Review: Frankenstein!

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Hello everyone! Time for another book review! I decided to go classic on this one and I was not disappointed. I read Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (179 pages). Now remember, Frankenstein is the CREATOR of the creature, not the creature himself. He has no name.

“I felt as if I had committed some great crime, the consciousness of which haunted me. I was guiltless, but I had indeed drawn down a horrible curse upon my head, as mortal as that of a crime.” – Victor Frankenstein

Frankenstein starts out with Robert Walton writing letters to his sister Margaret. The whole book is compiled of his letters. He is on a voyage to discover new lands and he and his crew get stranded in ice in the arctic and they find a strange man named Victor Frankenstein. Walton takes him aboard and nurses him back to health and Victor decides to tell Walton his story. Victor created a creature as a result of a twisted obsession in occult science. He brings it to life, but then abandons it immediately. The creature is confused and sacred and eventually we get to hear his story through Victor and how their decisions brought the downfall of both Victor and the creature’s lives.

This book was absolutely amazing. While reading it, I tried to analyze and decipher the meanings that are buried in this book. There are so many references to other literature that Mary Shelley referenced in her novel. One that she referenced many times throughout the story is John Milton’s Paradise LostIt’s an epic poem about Satan’s fall from Heaven and his efforts to destroy mankind to get his revenge. I love that Mary Shelley used this poem so much in her story because it gives the story so much depth. I like how she made her characters so complex. The creature was so misunderstood. For a while in the book, you have much pity for Victor and his plight, but a little more than half way through, my opinion started to change drastically. I realized how cold hearted Victor was for abandoning this creation he worked so hard for. The creature was left to fend for himself in a world he knew nothing about. I like that Shelley pulls at my heart strings with her characters.

I didn’t find anything in this book that I didn’t like. Something that could turn people off about this book would be the old English language that can be a little flowery and difficult to understand at first. If you start out slow and look up any words that you don’t know and just follow the references at the bottom of the page, you should be able to follow the story fairly well!

Overall I loved this book. It really challenged me to think hard about the characters’ decisions and how that effected what happened to them in the end. I highly recommend that everyone read this book at some point in their life. It has a lot of good content that a young person could learn from. There is a great play adaptation of this book by Danny Boyle, I can’t find it on DVD which distresses me, but here is the  trailer. Well that’s all I’ve got today! Until next time my friends.

 

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It’s a Monday…and I’m Reading!

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Well it’s Monday and I’m supposed to tell you guys what I am reading. It took me a while to decide what to read next. I haven’t read many of the classics so I finally decided on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeSo far I have read 64 pages of it and I am excited to continue.

I have decided that I am a fan of Oscar Wilde’s style of writing. It’s flowery, but not so much that it’s annoying. The characters are rich and full of personality and life. Lord Henry, Basil Hallward, Dorian Gray, and Sibyl. My favorite character is Lord Henry because he is just so flamboyant with his beliefs. He seems to have a backward look at everything compared to the popular opinion.

 

“Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.” – Lord Henry

 

When he meets Dorian, who was already friends with Basil, he becomes weirdly interested in Dorian’s personality. The way he talks almost sounds like he could be a psychiatrist. Dorian is outstandingly handsome and is a muse for Basil who is an artist who painted a stunning portrait of Dorian. Lord Henry then tells Dorian the horrors of losing one’s youth and good looks and it shakes Dorian to his core and forever changes him as a person.

 

“We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we ere too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!” – Lord Henry

 

Okay so that’s all I got for this Monday! Now I’m just sitting back, watching the movie Paper Towns which is based on the book by John Green (one of my favorite authors). The book is DEFINITELY better but they do what they can.

 

 

If you are looking for a new author to try out, you should definitely try John Green. I have read all of his books minus one that he co-wrote with another author that I greatly dislike. His books are just wonderful, the way he writes sounds so poetic but it’s also an easy read. Here’s John Green’s website if you want to learn more, there’s a list of books on there as well as other cool info about him.

Till next time! Keep on reading!

 

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Book Review: Z – A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

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“If only people could travel as easily as words. Wouldn’t that be something? If only we could be so easily revised.” – Zelda Fitzgerald

Today I’ll be reviewing the book Z – A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald written by Therese Anne Fowler. This is a fictional novel that is strongly based on the true events of the lives of Zelda Fitzgerald and her famous husband F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story is about Zelda’s life and has very strong feminist themes because she lived during the 20’s when women were starting to try to branch out and be their own people.

The story starts out with Zelda at age 17 going on 18 and she is a rebellious young lady living in Montgomery, Alabama in 1918. Right before her 18th birthday she meets a dashing young officer, Scott Fitzgerald who sweeps her off of her feet. They write to each other as he is shipped off to fight in the first world war but peace was made before he fought. They get married and from there on out it’s a roller-coaster ride of love, loss, betrayal, and dreams.

“Won’t we be quite the pair?—you with your bad heart, me with my bad head. Together, though, we might have something worthwhile.” – Zelda Fitzgerald

I really enjoyed this book! One of my top 5 authors is F. Scott Fitzgerald but I didn’t know a lot about his life of that of his wife, Zelda. I liked that this book gave me major insight into what made him a great writer and why Zelda was so popular also. The author did a great job of translating their story into an enjoyable novel instead of a non-fiction book. She made the characters so vibrant it really felt like I was watching this all happen in my head. I learned that Scott was definitely not all he is cracked up to be. He was a HUGE jerk sometimes and also a raging alcoholic (most classic authors were) who at many different times almost destroyed his family. Zelda was very headstrong from a young age and marriage didn’t change that. She was definitely not the perfect wife and she too almost messed everything up and also had a problem with alcoholism. She also did some writing and has a novel published that I didn’t know about, writing helped her cope with her situation. I also learned more about Ernst Hemingway because he and Scott were best friends. Let’s just say he caused some big problems in Scott and Zelda’s marriage.

There wasn’t a lot that I disliked about this book other than the fact that it opened my eyes to the kind of person that Scott Fitzgerald was, that he wasn’t just some legendary writer. He had many struggles throughout his life and Zelda, I believe, had even more. They both caused each other insufferable pain but I do believe what they had was true love.

“We glared at each other then, with the kind of hatred that comes from being deliberately wounded in one’s softest, most vulnerable places by a person who used to love you passionately.” – Zelda Fitzgerald

This book was just invigorating, I didn’t want to put it down. Therese Anne Fowler did a wonderful job tying in all of the different novels and works that Scott wrote. After reading this, and having also read The Great Gatsby, I can see so much of Scott in Gatsby and so much of Zelda in Daisy. While the stories are both different, the characters personalities tend to coincide. It also brought to my attention the plague that women suffered during this time. Everything you did was for your husband in some way. You could not dare to venture out on your own and figure out what was right for you, no, that was not the womanly duty. Zelda fought against this her entire life. She loved ballet and Scott whined about it every time she tried to go anywhere with it. The same thing happened with her writing, the only thing she really got to sell in her name was her paintings and those were not valued at much. Overall, this book will capture you from the beginning and make you think really hard about everything you thought you knew about the Fitzgerald’s. I highly recommend that you find this book at your nearest library or buy it here and enjoy every sentence!

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10 Random Facts About Me!

Ten facts about me? Wow…where do I even begin?

1. Becoming a student is the most stressful thing that has ever happened to me. Maybe that sounds ridiculous to people older and more experienced than me, but it’s true! In high school I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do and I thought I was meant for greatness right out of the gate. BOY was I WRONG! My major has jumped from animal science to English. It’s weird I know but it makes sense to me.

2. I’ve been in the same relationship for 6 going on 7 years. When I tell people this I get startled reactions like I have done something impossible. Yes, I have been in the same relationship since 9th grade. No, I don’t wish I had dated other people. We are happy, why look for something else when you have something wonderful right in front of you?

3. A TV character that I really relate to would be Jessica Day from the show New Girl. Bubbly, random, and crazy. A movie character I relate with would be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Wishing I could leave the small town I live in and explore the world and loving my books. The character from a book that I relate to would be Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby. Just wanting everyone to get along and chill out with the craziness.

Here is a video of Jessica Day reacting to a compliment that accurately represents me in every way: 

 

4. I have a few pet peeves. One of the more severe ones would be staring. I cannot stand when someone is blatantly staring at you, no shame, taking in every thing you do without saying a word. Staring, getting caught, and looking away timidly is one thing but when you are just locked on and don’t even say anything to the person, that is just plain rude.

5. Although I changed my mind about my major, I still adore animals and am determined to insert myself into any situation involving them. I volunteer at a retirement farm for horses and it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It is definitely my therapy and stress relief once a week!

6. I am weirdly obsessive about collecting antique books. I don’t really know what it is, even if it is a book that I would never read, if it is super old and beautiful, you better believe it is being bought. I have stacks upon stacks of old books that will take eons for me to actually read, but it is so satisfying to admire my collection no matter how pointless.

7. Something I find really irritating about myself would be how awkward I am around strangers. It may start off well, but somewhere during the conversation I will second guess myself and start stressing about what they are thinking about me and how I am presenting myself. It’s something I have to work on daily and I know it will get better as I discover myself.

8. As I have stated before, I love animals. So it won’t be surprising to you when I say that the fact that animal abuse even exists sickens me to my core. I know most people feel this way but it feels almost personal when I see an article telling me that another defenseless animal has fallen to the hand of mankind. One day I’d like to be an active advocate for animal rights.

9. I love poetry. I first gained interest in it when I was in 9th grade and I’ve been captivated since. My personal poet is definitely Walt Whitman, and I say this because I feel that we share the same amazement at the variety of human life and the beauty of the world around us. I am currently reading Leaves of Grass and it is wonderful so far. Here is an excerpt from the lengthy poem: 

10. Sometimes I think that I was born in the wrong era. I adore everything 50’s and I wish my entire wardrobe consisted of circle skirts, crinoline, and collared dresses. I would wear that stuff every day if people wouldn’t think I was insane… then again, should I care what people think?

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