Weekend Read: 1984 and Ship It

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Friday page 92.

 It reminds me of Soylent Green and Fahrenheit 451. I love classic dystopian, as it’s so much darker than modern ones. The hope, the rebellion is more desperate. I like it when it’s the upper class, rather than the poorer masses that get the idea to rebel. It’s not realistic, as most real uprisings start with the masses. More’s at stake when the society benefits you, when people you don’t know and are trained to think of as inferior will get the most rewards.

 I think he’ll either find a group of rebels, escape Oceania into Eurasia, or get caught by the thought police. O’Brien seems too obvious to be a real rebel; I think he’s a spy for Big Brother looking for the Brotherhood. I mean, could be the other way round, and he’s from the Brotherhood to spy on the Party. 

Saturday page 136 (spoilers)

It took a disappointing turn. The rebellious act I was expecting turned out to be sex. Not graphic, thankfully, but it still seems pointless, even though logically I know it’s a metaphor for giving into the desires society says it’s shameful to have.

 It’s misogynistic. When the woman is first introduced she’s an object of vile; someone Winton wants to kill. When they get together, he tells her so, and she laughs it off! Kisses him anyway! Da F*@!!!

You had so much promise…

Sunday

1984 page 168 Ship It page 29

 Long, meandering expanses of boredom, and now a flashback and a sudden visit. With no transition! It’s not surprising, what’s happening, but give me some kind of transition! 

 I desperately needed a contemporary at this point, and went to the library. The first contemporary I’m reading to offset this is Ship It, a MG/lower YA that seems to be a fanfic of the Supernatural family. It’s a little lower on the age spectrum as I was lead to believe, but it’s fun to read. Unlike 1984.

Monday/Tuesday

1984 page 192 Ship It page 52 Merlin episode 3

I’m sad to announce that I DNF’d 1984. The plotless, meandering treatise turned into a literal textbook. I had high hopes, as I loved Animal Farm, and 1984, is, well, famous. But 1984 is so bloody boring! I can’t take anymore!

 I’ll be focusing on Ship It for the next few days. And Merlin. Ship It, like most fangirly books, has a comic-con bit. I personally am terrified of comic-con. All those people. I’d love to attend panels and meet Jensen Ackles, but the reality of it- people and people, people. And standing for hours at at time, I’d almost certainly faint. I’ve been to parades. I know that I’d faint. 

 I love the idea of comic-con. People gathering to Nerd. Cosplay, panels, signing, etc. But I get that from the internet. Sure I’d love to inhabit an IRL fandom space, but between my disposition and the costs, the only scenario where I’d go is if I wrote something worthy of being invited as a creator. 

 Merlin. I ship Merlin and Arthur. But the strange thing is, I was told to ship Merlin/Arthur before I watched it, as with Destiel. But I watched Sherlock before I became invested in pinterest, and I’ve never seen Johnlock. It’s a legitimate ship, but if Sherlock were to become romantically involved, it’d be with Molly. I don’t think he would because of how asexual he is. It might just be a coincidence that pinterest told me about the ships, which I now vehemently ship, but I genuinely see what kind of chemistry they have. Sherlock and John are close best friends. Cass and Dean are closeted gay lovers. Merlin and Arthur… I’m pretty sure they started having sex off camera during the first episode. That’s how same sex couples handled it in medieval times. I watch Game Of Thrones.

 I had an unproductive weekend. I originally intended it to be a record of my thoughts on 1984 as I read it, but I hate it. Let me know if you’d like to see this format again with a book I actually like.

 

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Every Good Beginning

I’m reading three books right now.  Let’s see if they’re guessable on the first sentence:

I first discovered I was trash three days before my ninth birthday- one year after my father lost his job  and moved to Secaucus to live with a woman named Crystal and four years before my mother had the car accident, started taking pills, and began exclusively wearing bedroom slippers instead of normal shoes.

 That gives you a lot to go on, but isn’t really the story. I’ll give you an easy B if you got it, but it’s understandable if you don’t, since this book isn’t known for it’s long, explanatory sentences. 

Book two:

On the second Sabbat of Twelthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.

That was hella obvious because of the city’s name. And there aren’t a lot of places where girls can fall from the sky instead of a building,bridge, or plane.(I suggest that you don’t do the first two.)

Book Three:

Millie Gerdavey cheated on her boyfriend again.

 Ok, that one’s hard. 

Book one was Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige. Book two was Strange The Dreamer, by Laini Taylor. Book three is A Quiet Kind Of Thunder, by Sara Barnard. Let me know which ones you guessed.

I’ve been thinking about beginnings. Logically, they should give you a sense of home or circumstance that is normal before the first catalyst that starts the journey. Dorothy gives you enough backstory, a little more than enough, but though you logically know, there isn’t much feeling in it. Yes, her circumstances suck, but does she hate her dad? How does she feel about poverty? 

Strange The Dreamer starts really short, given the flowery prose. It also doesn’t make sense for a while, considering Lazlo narrates the first 100 pages and Sarai isn’t grieving when we get to her. 

I’m only on chapter 4 of Thunder, so I don’t have context. But even though Millie isn’t important beyond the first chapter, she shows Steffi’s mutism well. It triggers a chain of thought that would logically lead to her backstory, instead of her outright writing THIS IS MUTISM to the audience.

My favorite beginning of all time is, of course, The Hobbit. 

In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty dirty, wet hole, full of worms and oozing smells, nor is it a dry, sandy…”

The first paragraph is so good I can’t just quote the first sentence. It has all the comforts of home: simple, with a storyteller’s drawl that anticipates the reader’s objections before we realize them.

The first sentence of my WIP, Stepdaddy’s Blood:

She reckoned the trunk was the natural place for roaches to die.

Well, it’s interesting. 

Tell me what your favorite first sentences are!

Why I May Or May Not Join Booktube

 

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Like most millenials, I love YouTube. I spent the past several hours watching Nerdfighters, and I can’t really say why.  Just my luck, I get a craving for them just as John Green announces he’s taking a year off all social media except YouTube.

Now, I’m really happy about it, because maybe this will give him the refresher he needs to start a new book, (or let him concentrate on a book he’s already started)

Before I got a Green craving, I was going through Booktube. My first impressions were 1.All of these girls are beautiful and wear makeup, 2. 20 minutes is a little too long for a video, and 3. I WANT TO READ THAT BOOK. (Which is why I’m currently reading Daughter Of Smoke And Bone)

I really want to join BookTube, but it isn’t simple for me. (I’m not sure if it’s simple for anyone.)

Pros

  • It looks like fun!
  • More book recommendations! I’ve heard of DOSAB before, but I didn’t hear enough to convince me to read it. 
  • Another community that is an extension of the one I’m already in. I’ve heard of Angela Basset, but I’ve yet to watch any of her videos. It felt a little odd and distant whenever someone mentioned her on a blog or twitter.  I’ll get to her soon and find out what the hype is about!
  • Media experience! As a journalism major, it would look really good on job apps. My professors have tried to get me more into digital media, but I’ve always preferred magazines. I love magazines! But I recognize that print isn’t a booming industry, so it’ll be good to have something to fall back on. 

Cons

  • Privacy. This one is major. Everyone knows what JK Rowling looks like and what John Green sounds like. The scary part is that after Reichenbach Falls, someone physically attacked Sir A.C. Doyle to scare him into writing more Sherlock. And while i’m thankful to have more Sherlock, I do not want it to happen to me.
  • Recognition. While I trust a few people in my daily life with my penname, I wouldn’t trust everyone. And yes, I know the probability falls into me remaining on a tiny island of a platform, but it is a chance I have to consider. 
  • Overshare. While I have been open about many things, my homelessness, my asexuality, etc., I haven’t shared much with my IRL folks. And some I do want to come out to in the future, and don’t want them finding out via internet.

In conclusion, I want to, but I need not to. I’ve always thought that on book tours or other hopefully someday events that I attend as Brittaina I’d wear a mask and a different style of clothing. While that may seem a bit excessive, I really value my privacy. I can’t afford a mask and new clothes right now. I may in the future.

Sorry to disappoint if you were expecting this post to be a BookTube launch, but I want to someday. Someday, unless I die or an equally catastrophic event happens where it isn’t possible. Someday, I want a booktube channel. Just not right now.

BTW, if you want it to happen sooner, check out my ko-fi and donate, or promote it in ways that you can. I want to do this, but I want to do it in a way that makes me feel safe.

 

Wrap Up: Latinx Book Bingo & Prideathon

Exactly a month ago, I posted Latinx Book Bingo- Prideathon basically I planned to read as much queer &/or latinx books as I could. Of the planned books I read:

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Tash Hearts Tolstoy was my first read that had outed ace rep, and I loved it. I’ve (still) yet to read Anna Karenina, Tash’s favorite book that was her life. I love books, I have reoccurring rereads, I fantasize about meeting authors, I have a bloody book blog. Yet I’ve yet to devote as much love as Tash gives Anna Karenina. She adapts AK into a modern webseries that gets the attention of major web superstars.
And her queerness? It’s a little awkward sometimes, like why is she so open about her asexuality? But she has close friends and guys that are into her, so I guess she can’t just not acknowledge sex.

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History Is All You Left Me. I preferred They Both Die At The End, since about prepping for death, and HIAYLM is about getting over a death and has sex. Not explicit sex, but constant unnecessary sex. Like, one instance was built up to, and the others were guilt sex.
I love Silvera’s tone of death. It’s what I love about him, it what makes him my gay soulmate. I LOVE HIM OK? I love confronting death, experiencing it, and not shying away.
Undead Girl Gang
I did not like this book. Too clunky, and disappointed how great the book could’ve been. It has a great premise, Mila necromances her dead best friend and enemies. They find out who killed them. The writing trips on its feet.
That’s everything I read from the list. I also read…

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THAT’S RIGHT!
It was unsatisfying. I binged in less than 24 hours, so the writing and plot was smooth, but Becky’s specialty is wondering, suspense, and happy fulfillment. Adam’s specialty is DEATH and moodiness. They did not work. They reflected a normal relationship, evolved from an amazing meeting. They made it awkward and normal. Like, COULD SOMEONE PLEASE DIE?
Also not on the list was Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter To The World. I read it during a bad time and wasn’t able to be present for the lot of it, but it was cute! Ivy’s a middle school girl trying ask if her crush is gay while dealing with her maybe homophobic older sister. Also, there’s a natural disaster and their house is totally destroyed. It’s the MG book that was missing back when I was browsing the Children’s Room.
I’m currently reading My Life As A Goddess. It’s a memoir by Guy Braum, a friend of Mindy Kaling. I’ve never heard of him before, but aside from the religious blasphemy of calling himself a goddess, he seems pretty funny.
So I only read 5 books when my goal was 11. I went through a tough time recently, went homeless and can’t really carry around a lot of books, and spend more of my time looking for food. Plus, I read books that don’t fall in the latinx/ pride spectrum, such as Dear Nobody, the true diary of Mary Rose. I’m also reading Vicious, written by the gay VE, and stars the ace Victor Vale, but it’s a reread.
I’m pretty happy with this challenge. I can look forward to reading those other books at a better time instead of binging on a conform diet. I wish I’d read more Latinx, but I also wish I chose something better than Undead Girl Gang.
What do you like about this reading challenge? What do you recommend for it?

Stepdaddy’s Blood/ WIP Update #2

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This is the monthly follow-up for Stepdaddy’s Blood: A WIP  in an attempt to hold myself accountable for my progress. 

Due to technical difficulties, I haven’t been able to write much. I finally got a new keyboard that’s super clunky but makes a satisfying clicking noise while I type. 

“That woman stared at me while I was changing shirts. Scratched my face, tried to feed me salami!”

 Last semester, I took a playwrighting class. It was fun. I made friends and got the general idea of Stepdaddy’s Blood on paper. It made playwrighting easy. When I write dialogue, it flows out like a leaf in the stream of creation. Writing action, scenery, and anything else that isn’t someone talking is hard. When I want to express emotion in a movement, the action comes but not the emotion. 

  “Yes, ew! Was this so you could get some macabre note?”                                       “I got the D.NA.” (Waves bag of hair)                                                                         Pireto leaned against the tree. “When did you know about the suicide?”

 I now have 2,934 words, or 5 1/2 pages. My original goal was to have 10 pages by now. Still, it’s progress. I’ve recently began watching old Stephen King movies. They are so awesome. They feel me a nervous fear that asks for writing as an outlet. 

The Belizean man, Jim, was a well-groomed man with a goatee. In the ’70s, the tips brushed the ground when he walked and folded into a heap when he sat. By the ’90s, it was trimmed to stay on his face.

 So dear reader, can you give me examples of good scenic writing? What books have you read recently that are full of emotion and description? I’m interested in 3rd person mysteries. So many are first person. 

2nd In Command/ Science Officer

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so YOU and others can blog hop and share the character love. ♡

 This was a tough one! When I first saw the character type, I immediately thought of Ser Jorah. He’s loyal, his advice is good, and even though he’s in love with Daenerys , he keeps a respectful distance. That is, before I began watching season 5. In season 5, Dany becomes angry with Ser Jorah, and well, I won’t spoil it. I’m still going through season 5, so please don’t spoil it.

  So who else is a good 2nd in command? Mcgongall is 2nd in command at Hogwarts, but the series focuses more on her teaching than on her being vice headmaster. Watson takes over for Sherlock in The Hounds, bu it seems off, as Watson couldn’t actually replace Sherlock if need (don’t) be. There’s commander Riker! But he’s not exactly smart.

  So that leads us to…

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  Spock! Spock! Spock.

  I love Spock.

  He should’ve been captain.

  It’s really a mystery why Kirk didn’t die.

  Spock.

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  Spock is hard to describe without getting emotional.

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  He’s logical, but for some reason, he is fond of Kirk. That’s just about the only illogical thing about him. But I suppose if he let his natural superiority affect his relationship with Kirk, he wouldn’t have been a very good Science Officer/  2nd in command.

  He’s difficult at anticipating emotions, calculating how to act by logic, and assuming that the Klingons or thing they’re dealing with will also act logically, with the most life saved and knowledge gained. Kirk is somehow great with people despite the fact that he’s a jerk, and lacks logic. Fortunately, Spock is there with a booty of logic. Sorry, bounty of logic. Kirk usually ignores his advice, going with his gut.

  Spock is also Science Officer, a position combined with 2nd officer to empathize that the Enterprise’s  primary mission is to explore new worlds, encounter new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. In hippie words, science, not war. For the sake of plot, there is often war. If it weren’t for Spock, the Enterprise might not get any of her actual mission done.

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  Who would you choose to be your 2nd in command? What makes you love Spock?

Mr. Grump With A Heart Of Gold/IHeartCharacters

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so YOU and others can blog hop and share the character love. ♡

This is very, very, dorky and cliché, but my Grouch with a Heart of Gold is… 

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Darcy!

I feel for Darcy, and I don’t just mean he’s hot. He’s misunderstood. People take his shyness to mean he’s a snob, an arse, an other. True, he has said some things that sounded pretty bad. But Lizzy tried to get a big introvert to dance. This man doesn’t want any attention, and you’re trying to get him to dance?

 When he finally does dance, it says he’s willing to put effort into their relationship. He wants her to see him as a real person, not just the front he puts up.

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His love is strong

 He cares and protects his little sister. It’s not easy to love someone that way, like a parent and a friend. It’s like you’d do anything in the world to protect them, but they ignore you constantly, and when they do acknowledge you, they can get really annoying, temporarily hate you, try to get your attention and displays of love. Georgina is a good girl, but they went through a tough time with Wickham.

His love is persistent

 Darcy knows that Lizzy hates him. Darcy knows that Lizzy isn’t a “proper” match for him. Yet he’s caught by Lizzy’s concern for Jane, by Lizzy’s long walks in the rain, by Lizzy’s lack of embarrassment of mud and poverty. He loves her despite everything, and is courageous in his confession. Speaking of…

His love is articulate

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What more could you want?