What am I reading?

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I have a pile of books to read this summer, so I’m cranking out books every one to two weeks.  I don’t think I can go any faster since I’m studying two languages and catching up on video games that I haven’t played during the school year, but I’m still going to read as fast as I can.  

 American Gods by Neil Gaiman is the book that I’m currently reading.  

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It’s different from the books that I usually read, but that’s a good thing.  I like changing things up one and a while.  Not to mention that I’ve always wanted to read a Neil Gaiman book.  Right now I think it’s very interesting from the main character, Shadow, and the mythology and fantasy that surrounds the plot.  I’m about 62 pages in (I need to pick up the pace), but I’ll be sure to write about it when I’m done.  

Since I’m very far behind on my book pile, I’m also reading Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn.  I might finish this one before American Gods, but I’m not too sure.   

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Lately I’ve been having trouble punching out words.  Between working, reading, watching movies, and dealing with the heat, writing hasn’t really been a priority.  Which is strange because my goal is to finish my draft by the end of the summer.  I don’t have a lot of time to write during the school year because of the amount of credits I’m taking, so summer is the best time to write.  The only problem is the words tend to freeze up during the summer. Not a good thing. 

I’ve been thinking about my story for a really long time.  Everything is in my head, but I can’t seem to put the words on paper.  They always come out like a hibbly bobbly jumbo mess of words that don’t make any sense.  Everything goes too fast, my characters are confused on what to do…in fact my characters are complaining right now because I keep sending them back to the beginning of the book.  All things will sort out…eventually. Reading other books also helps me to get words going, but I can’t read either! I’m at the end of a book right now and yet I can’t seem to finish the end.  The end.  I’m right there and I can’t even pull through. 

What is my problem? Exhaustion? Laziness? Overwhelmed by an insurmountable pile of work? I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s very vexing.  If I keep up with this pace I won’t be able finish.  And if I keep changing things I’ll never finish.  

Oh boy. 

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(The girl in the jewel doesn’t look anything like the main character…)

This book by Rae Carson is the second book in a trilogy.  I read the first one last summer after deciding to purchase it from Amazon.  I believe that this is the first set of books that I’ve read with a monarch as the protagonist.  I don’t read much YA fiction anymore (even though I’m technically not too old to read it), but I like the main character because she grew tremendously throughout the story.  I like characters that grow as they experience things because that makes an interesting character.

The first book is called The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

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Elisa is the main character of both books; the prose is written in first person without POV alternations.  There’s quite a bit of action in both books with enough characterization for the main characters.  It’s a very easy read, but an interesting story nonetheless.  It was a quick, but suspenseful read.

Elisa is a sixteen year old princess who is married off to a foreign king.  She’s also a Bearer, or someone who is chosen by God.  They are marked with a jewel in their navel.  The jewel, or Godstone, possess magic that is used to fight magic (that is used by those whose purpose is to harm).  Naturally, there are people that want to kill her because she posses the stone that harnesses magical abilities.  Whoever bears the stone bears the magic.

How it inspires me: 

Elisa is a character that shows growth.  I love growing characters and I especially love the fact that she struggles with the duties of being a queen as well as a human being. I want my characters to grow and to be as strong as Elisa’s character, but I don’t want them to be perfect and vain.  I happen to have a character that rises to the role of monarch, so I think that Elisa is a good example of a main character who is also in a ruling position.  She makes mistakes.  A lot of them.  Not only that, but she struggles with mundane things such as love, friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. Everything doesn’t work out for her even when she has power; she’s still a normal person even though she’s not in a a normal position.  Overall, I like the sincerity of the series.  I can’t wait for the third!

I really like the word “quell.” Why? I’m not so sure.  It just sounds powerful.

For example, “She quelled the crowd with only a slight ascension of her hand.  It was a small movement, but the power of her presence was nearly overwhelming to the majority who admired her.”

I came up with that myself.

Definition: 1. To put down forcibly; suppress.  2. To pacify; quiet

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This isn’t a new movie, but I just recently watched it.  I’ve always wanted to see it because I love Thomas Newman’s scores and wanted to watch the story that was worthy enough to have Thomas Newman as its musical story teller.  I didn’t know much about the movie at first, but as I whole I thought that it was a very decent movie.  It was really, really sad and almost left a mark on me, but I’m glad I watched the film.

In short, it’s about a couple who gives up everything to pursue their dreams.  They are a couple who repeatedly falls in and out of love, but one day they just decide to risk everything and go to Paris.  Things don’t go as well as planned, however, and things start to go downhill.

I don’t want to say too much about it, but I was really surprised by how tragic the story was.  I had my opinions before I decided to watch it, but I wasn’t expecting the story to be so real about relationships.  It’s truly a tragedy.  It was a bit strange watching it at first because I kept thinking about Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and how they’re a completely different couple in Revolutionary Road.  It’s a different story, also a tragedy, but more of a tragedy than a love story.  At the end I felt sad and disorientated for a while.

How it inspired me:

Relationships are in no way perfect.  Even “perfect” couples argue.  There’s a couple in one of my books who are almost the same way as the couple in Revolutionary Road.  They are perfect for each other, but they fight and fight.  They disagree, they yell at each other.  As a youngish person who hasn’t been a relationship yet, the movie helped me to round my characters relationship more fully and realistically.

The score is pretty good too.

Writing is my favorite thing to do because I spend so much time reading and thinking. While I spend most of my time studying, I spend the rest of my time trying to figure out how to organize all the things in my little head which means I write.  A lot.  So I suppose I could call myself a writer even though I don’t write every day (ssshhhhhh!!).  I should, but I’ve been staring at blank word documents all day instead of typing…maybe this blog will help me juice my brain.

I’m currently working on two major projects and several smaller ones.  I was half way through the first one until a great idea happened (and so I decided to scrap the idea and start over).  I’m constantly trying to make sure that what I write is something that I and other people will like (but mostly for my own entertainment because at my writing stage I care more about what I like more than what other people like).  Let’s just say that I haven’t really finished a first draft…

I’m going to change that.