Books I Brought To College


 Lord Of The Rings boxset: I’ve tried to finish the entire thing before but… This is my 3rd time reading The Hobbit. I should do a book vs. movie thing. Dwarves and a dragon!

Reader’s Digest: Genius Issue 2016 Yay, a magazine instead of a book! It can really inspire me when I need it, esp. the Frozen article. It says it’s ok, even better, to draw on your personal experiences to create blockbuster. I like regular RDs, but their genius issues are the best.

JRR Tolkien: The Man Who Created LOTR: Yeah. I don’t really have a reason for this except that it was in my writing bin and Middle Earth.

Woman Hollering Creek A crush “loaned” this to me a while back and said I could return it when I was “finished” with it. I am much more specific when I loan books. Anyway, it’s a good book in itself. I love the tone, much more than in Mango St., which I hated. But it was required reading, so I should probably reread this unbiased. The stories were cool, but not memorable enough to name my favorites.

A People’s History Of The U.S.  This was from my junior year of HS’s history supplemental book. The teacher got promoted and didn’t ask for it back. I thought I would need it for college, and I don’t. I liked it even tho I haven’t read it since she was promoted. It’s a citizen-oriented version of history.

 The Picture Of Dorian Gray: This was the first book I finished here! It was… interesting in a good way. Different from the movie but the quality of both are about the same. Dorian says he wants the picture to grow old in his place, and it comes true.

Your Name In Print: This is a father-daughter collaboration that goes through the process of getting published. The best part was snippets about teen authors. I checked out one and it was unspeakably horrible. I already read and liked Eragon though, and I found the bit of background interesting.

How To Write A Damn Good Novel: This is the best traditional book on writing I’ve read.

Imaginative Writing: Get the sub theme? I mostly like it for it’s prompts, not the bulk of the writing.

The Greek Myths 1 &2: I wanted to bring a piece of my religion, and this is the most accessible and portable book I had. 

Quick Question: Do you want me to add links to Amazon or Goodreads?

Slower question: What books did you, or might you bring, to college?



Courage To Write Quotes

GAR! Hi humans and nonhumans alike. I have moved into college! They don’t allow incoming to have access to the internet until they register for classes, thus the delay…



I recently finished Courage To Write. Overall, it had good messages, but the chapters could’ve been condensed into a single quote.

“Writing by hand, mouthing by mouth: in each case you get a… physical sense of the emergence of language, print obliterates it; type has no drawl.”

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it’s isn’t expecting it.” -O. Welles

“When writers are out in public the laughter level is high, and they’re very buoyant-even without alcohol because they’re not at home feeling like they have to take a test.”-Oates

“Writing is hell. I find that i’m simply the happiest, the placidest when i’m writing.” -William Styron

War of the Worlds-Book Review

wwwWar of the Worlds is such a journalistic novel that a radio adaptation convinced the people of New Jersey to flee their homes, commit suicide or die by a Martian Heat-Ray. I snatched a copy already convinced that this is the greatest science fiction novel of all time. But the journalistic style that made it famous proved to be a downer in novel form; the narrator did little to appeal to the senses and was not a master of the show-not-tell rule.

The Martians first appear nonthreatening; they are blobs that can barely move due to Earth’s higher gravity. (remind you of someone?) Their physical description is so plausible that I would like to ask Wells how he managed to design them with the little astrological knowledge of the 1890s. They kill all humans who go near them by sending out an invisible, instant ray of heat. They later overcome their gravitational difficulties by building 4-legged machines far superior to the horse drawn carriages of well’s time. The narrator compares the Martians to humans as humans are to ants, and slightly less obviously, as Europeans are to the Native Americans.

The protagonist, the Writer, is an anti-hero that does little to move the plot. He is more of a narrator than character in the way he travels England and tells you of his brother’s experiences. Although he does not meet the Martians in person, the Brother is more of a plot mover by taking charge of his situation and does what he has to do to get out of London.

The minor characters are symbolic representations of common human reactions to seemingly impossible situations. The Curate is a religious example of parasitic people who do nothing about their situation and look to scientists, or a god, to solve their problems. The Artilleryman is a prime example of how most people react to climate change; he sits in his hideout surrounded by luxury, always plotting a very good plot to rid themselves of the Martians by using their Heat-rays against them, yet is content to stay comfortable.

A good thesis for this book would compare the Martian colonization to modern climate change. Along with the mass migration that occurs in both the book and with climate change refugees, there is a humbling effect, a realization that “We cannot regard this planet as being fenced in and a secure and abiding place for man.” (p.203)

I would like to ask Wells if he considered writing from the perspective of a Martian instead of a human. Would it not be easier and more effective to write from the symbol of humankind than from the animals they subjugate? Or was the idea not to look down in shame but up as an ant in an anthill about to be crushed? If the latter, why so little appeal to the senses?

Lolita- Book Review pt.1

lolita-world-book-day Lolita is one of those books where you know the basic idea before you read the book. How to Write A Damn Good Novel, among others of its type, had so thoroughly analyzed the book that I was almost certain that it would be dull. There were few surprises but Humbert’s demented lyrics and her-or-die mentality created a realistic madman’s world.

The story originates from Humbert’s doomed first love, Annabel, from when he was a boy. As he becomes an adult, it is implied that Annabel’s image was preserved in his desires for ‘nymphets’. He does not act on his desires until he meets Lolita Haze, whose mother he marries to stay with Lolita. Upon her mother’s death, he takes complete control of her. She eventually escapes, causing him to search for leads, forever pinning, until he finds her, fatally pregnant, and kills the like-minded man who took her.

Despite being a fascinating character that quickly goes from meek to aggressive, Humbert is mostly a static character whose views of others remains constant. Lolita, in his view, is always the girl-child he must possess, without any consideration of her mental health. Because Humbert’s view of Lolita remains static, Lolita herself seems static, although she goes through several changes from girl-child to a pregnant woman in an impoverished house.

How could the author write from the perspective of an inconsiderate pervert? What’s it like to write from the perspective of a static, yet dynamic, character? And-I believe this is not a question Nabokov could consciously answer I would ask him how he approached a deplorable pervert and managed to assimilate his voice seamlessly. Did he have an experience with a pervert or a kidnapper that his subconscious had to express? Did he simply have an inescapable fascination with perversion? Was it not about the perversion but a search to express a different view of love?   I believe the answers lie in the two latter questions. Even if he did not have a fascination with general perversion, he did have a fascination with Humbert’s abnormal love of Lolita.

Humbert’s love would seem perverted to outsiders, torture to Lolita, yet deep, unquestionable love to Humbert. The difference between perversion and love is that perversion is single sided, concerned with only the pervert’s desires while love places higher value on the other’s needs and desires. The author’s work was in clouding love in perversion, or vice versa, while maintain a realistic pervert’s voice.

In an essay further analyzing Lolita, I would ask ‘what does Nabokov do to disguise love as perversion, or vice versa?’ I would look at how he describes Lolita as contrasted against the descriptions of those deemed inferior. I would look at Humbert’s immaturity and ignorance of other’s emotions. I would ask if he truly loved Lolita, or was still clinging to dead Annabel’s image.


5 escritor citas

No, the rest of this is not en espanol. I just did es to different it from last week’s post. Sorry about the delay, but I was contibuting to the weekly Anthologia. Eso:


The best literary critic is the one who understands what the author was

unable, for one reason or another, to write; and understanding this, is

able to more appreciatively evaluate what the author was able to achieve.

— PAUL HORGAN, Approaches to Writing


It was not long ago that the prevailing attitude among editors was, “This

book has some problems, but the author is so talented that I’d like to buy

it and work with him.” Today such words are rarely heard. A book with

problems is a book rejected, and more and more one hears editors say,

“Let the author revise, then we’ll decide if we want to buy it.”

— RICHARD CURTIS, literary agent, “Are Editors Necessary?”,

in Editors on Editing, third edition, edited by Gerald Gross


Readers are like sheep. If there’s any gate to the right or left, they’ll take

  1. You must, therefore, always keep them on the path.

— PETER JACOBI, journalism professor, Indiana University


It’s not enough to tell a great story, share an original idea, or create an

intriguing poem; writers are also obligated to pay diligence to the craft…

Bad grammar is a distraction… Each mistake or incorrect construction

will momentarily yank readers out of the story. Sure, they can jump back

in, but it makes for a negative or unpleasant reading experience.

— MELISSA DONOVAN, writing coach, “Ten Grammar Rules

and the Best Writing Practices That Every Writer Should Know,”




5 Writer’s Quotes


You’re there to be shot at, and that’s part of it.

— NORMAN MAILER, novelist

If you want to do a good job of editing your book, you need to print it

out. Yes, I’m serious. Print it on actual paper, seize a red pen and you

won’t believe what you’ll see that you didn’t see before.

— BELINDA POLLARD, Australian book consultant


The best kind of fame is a writer’s fame. Just enough to get a good table

at a restaurant, and not enough for someone to interrupt you while you

are eating.

— FRAN LEBOWITZ, quoted in Us magazine, August 1993


Talent — genius, if you will — survives the most stringent oppression.

Quality and distinction are in almost all cases recognized eventually. It’s

only a matter of luck and timing (but the timing, unfortunately, can be

way off).

— WILLIAM McPHERSON, The Nation, October 3, 1981

These quotes, sans King, were stored in an ebook entitled 1,001 Tips For Authors.

The Bella Syndrome, pt.2

Diary Part 1, explanation of the Bella Syndrome, here

When I say that authors cannot create multiple living characters in one story, I am not insulting authors. They, or I should say we, gave life to the lovable, dynamic, living characters that are the true heroes. We cannot write from the POV of these characters because they are alive. We will not write from these characters because it would damage them. Writing from them would cast them as a body for us to see in, not as a person with her/his own thoughts and will.

Despite not having written a novel yet, I can speak for this. I created a character I fell in love with. He is the part of me that I aspire to be: brave, action -driven, clever and sometimes, well, all the time, reckless.

The heroine is the opposite. She is incredibly hard to get to know. During her interview I came close to begging from her. “Just tell me anything about yourself.” and she finally started a story that  helped me understand the relationship between her and the hero.  Character interview tip: Areas in which your character offers more tangents is an area you may want to explore first, then gradually nudge them into talking about their story.

And I understood the relationship between me and them. I filled my hero with everything I want to be and my heroine with everything I fear to be.

More on character interviews in Stephen King’s On Writing and James n. Frey’s How To Write A Damn Good Novel