Friday, June 29, 2012

Prose Filled but Horribly Empty

I've gotten into a couple of arguments with what's-his-face in the past, but it seems to be getting worse. I've called him selfish for not being capable of understand that there are people in economic need, who need just a little bit of help so they don't starve on the streets. Wanting people to have a chance to survive is not a communist idea. He's called me a socialist (what a surprise) and says that he doesn't think it's fair that they're forcing him to pay for other people's laziness (his bloody words). And then he tells me he's been poor and no one helped his family.

Uh-huh. Well I became a legal U.S citizen despite being an immigrant. I guess that means I have the right to shit upon anyone who didn't have the life I did and is struggling with becoming a legal American.

This exchange took place just today (via text message--and yes, spelling, smiley faces, and grammar fails are included)

Him: If wholeheartedly wishing to put myself and loved ones before the wellbeings of others makes me selfish, than i am a selfish person. I swear on my Lord and Lady to allow all others die before i let my children die before their time. This life is prescious to me for it is mine and mine alone. Those who touch it in positive ways are also precious. One cannot care for a phantom.

Me: It's a bit childish to see compassion and empathy as being the same things as total sacrifice of yourself and your loved ones. 
Oh sorry, you were being deep and pwning me and stuff. Ahem.  Oh woe, you are correct! How dare I not see that your family is in its ruins and you cannot even THINK about the pain of others, for you are in such greater despair.

I'm not a perfect person by any means. I'm annoying, self-centered, lazy, dramatic, over emotional, nice to strangers and blunt to family and friends, and really, really, really naive. But if I got anything out of writing Dream for two years and her constant "Wake up, open your eyes and see the sky" it's that a little bit of compassion is one of the most noble qualities a person can posses.

I'm kind of a shit at it, but at least I don't believe other's lives are as perfect as mine. Not everyone gets the same luck.

Oh and happy birthday, mum :D You don't read this blog, but I know of your sacrifices and your great compassion--and I probably would be as much of an asshat as the boy mentioned above if you hadn't taught me better.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sonya and Caesar

I've had this two in mind for a while. Purple, pixie haired Russian woman wearing cargo pants and a green long-sleeved shirt that stops just above her belly button* crashes into the window of a Native American foster kid. And she doesn't have a name.

This is what I've gathered so far from a few conversations that pop into my head while listening to the Nine Inch Nails pandora station:
  • The two seem to like Johnny Cash music. (This goes first! :P )
  • Caesar is thirteen years old while Sonya is in her early thirties, probably thirty-three.
  • Caesar is 5'5 (he's still growing) while Sonya is 5'8½ (making her my fifth tallest female character).
  • Sonya has a type of standard, supernatural power, not sure what it is yet (telekinesis? precognition of the future?)
    • Caesar might have one as well.
  • Caesar seems to act as the more mature one most of the time, with Sonya being a little bit of a childlike grown woman. That's why it surprises him when she grows serious, angry, and intimidating when the two are in danger.
  • Sonya actually rides a green motorcycle, not a blue one as I previously imagined.**
  • Sonya also seems to be fairly adept at hand to hand combat. She does't like using guns, however.
  • ...this is odd, but Sonya never ever wears shirts that cover her belly button. Her stomach is always exposed, and she dislikes skirts, dresses, (tight or skinny) jeans, and shorts. Her hair is also a purple pixie-cut combed to the side. (I stole it from one of Commander Shepard's hairstyles in ME3 >.>)
And that's what I have O_o'

[EDIT: Removed the conversation here. A lot of the interactions and facts changed when I fleshed out Ataraxia--and had it set in the future instead of the present. Still, I did love hearing these two.

Also, I just love that after all this, Lilith uses a yellow Suzuki motorcycle].

*I have no clue why her outfit was so clear in my mind >____>' I'm so lame.
  • Redemption's Yamazaki Hitomi: Black motorcycle (although I don't think she technically gets a motorcycle till Salvation. Not that it mattered, because that one was only planned rather than written >_>) 
  • Kim: Red motorcycle 
  • Rosegrave: Violet motorcycle 
  • Dream (in the future): Light blue motorcycle. 
  • Sonya: Green motorcycle (best driver out of the bunch).
...I should probably give a guy a motorcycle soon o.O It seems I'm forgetting about them. I'll research and post up the types of motorcycles soon-ishly :3

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Impatiently Annoyed and Annoyingly Impatient

So there's a problem. I'm getting a little too obsessed with publishing now a days. On the one hand, it's good, because I don't want to be surprised and riddled with ignorant mistakes when I'm searching for an agent. After all, I've been reading about querying literary agents for a solid two, maybe three years (since I was working on Redemption, the 120,000 words, unfinished, scifi book that never was) and I'm still learning new things. On the other handdd, it's silly because I don't have a working novel ready, so all I really should just be worrying about is writing the damn thing. I keep looking up agent blogs, and querying related blogs, and I've been planning out my query for the current book I'm writing...

Ugh, why am I so ridiculous?

I figured I need to stay motivated, though, and I really don't want to spend years and years writing the first (first!!!!!) draft of my novel, because I'm sure to never get anywhere with that kind of pacing. I want to write the first draft of Anne's story in a considerable amount of time, from a few (maybe three) months to a year. At the most. Revision, rewriting, critics, etc will get stretched out to much longer time.

So anyways, I figured what I need is a constant, daily word count routine. Currently, I've crawled to 433 words into Anne's story because I started hour ago, and I keep getting distracted. Badbadbad. Based on my experience with procrastinating for English papers in school, I can arguable write pretty decent papers of four to eight pages (double spaced, times new roman, one inch margins) in a day, so giving myself a 2,000 word count minimum per day should not be too difficult.

To keep the encouragement going, I will post it a blog post? Off in a little gadget?

Well I'll figure it out.

On other news, I think I forgot to mention I'm going back to Ecuador during the summer for like a week. The trip is more than a little scary but also exciting. I'm not particularly looking forward to seeing my family, simply because I'm a horrible human being who doesn't see much of a purpose in being forced to like and respect people because we share a percentage of similar DNA, but I am excited to see my country again (or at least, that little city). I have very few memories of it, but the ones I chose to focus on are usually the worst possible ones about the social conditions. At eight, seven, six, five I saw the kids on the streets, dirty and without much food, selling newspapers in the corners and sleeping huddled up by the sidewalk, but I don't think I even felt pity for them. I didn't fully understand the severity of their situation, it was just a common thing of life. And back then, for some strange, heavenly reason, I was also under the dilusion that my family didn't have a lot of money (ha!).

Looking back to those memories, I'm very judgmental. But maybe even said memories are horribly tainted. I wish I had an unbiased comparison point, but heaven knows I can't trust my parent's comments on the country all the time. It's just because, like most people, they somehow take pleasure in both insulting their mother country and yet praising its many aspects at the expense of the culture of another's nation. (How many times must I hear how much Cuban food sucks yet ours is a heavenly delight?)

I will not be taking any high-end electronics back to Ecuador, of course. One, I don't want to have them get smashed or torn someplace. Two, I think it might be a little more than uncomfortable to travel around with a laptop, no matter how small, because I'm not going back to lounge around pretty hotels and beaches--I'm going back so the adults can have my (lovely?) company while they get some personal business done. And three, I really don't want to have a reason to get robbed and assaulted on the street.

On that note, reading the U.S's official travel guide to Ecuador was somehow both amusing and troubling. Make of that what you will.

Alright, I'm gonna get back to writing now, and hopefully go buy groceries so I can sneak in some Publix sushi into the shopping cart.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meanwhile, Down the Road Not Taken...

Quick updates:

1) I've entered in a weird Marilyn Monroe and Akira Kurosawa phase. And no I have no idea how that happened or why they're both together, but lately, I've had an overwhelming urge to watch their movies. From Kurosawa, up until a couple of days ago, I'd only seen two of his films, Seven Samurai and Hidden Fortress. I started watching Rashomon, but didn't finish due to some complications, so I'll finish watching it later and hopefully get to watch some of his other movies. I'm looking forward to Yojimbo. As for Ms.'s weird, but I'd actually never seen her movies, and only a few weeks ago I saw that Netflix had the Seven Year Itch up for instant play and I watched it. It's a little weird to be so enchanted by her, because it's like as I'm watching I know she's acting, and not because she's bad, but because she's so good. I know that underneath the sweetly naive, and seductive persona is Norma Jean Baker, I just can't see her because she won't let me.

2) So...after Ray Bradbury passed away, I found myself thinking about the Earnest Hemingway House and the first time I went there a few years back. Because of that, I started writing a short story. The death of a famous science fiction author saddens an unnamed narrator and her long-distance pen-pal Isaac, and so the day of his death, they decide to meet and explore the house of another writer who died long ago. And they talk. 
45) There's this famous internet literary reviewer (of the Inheritance Cycle, at least) and asexual educator called Swankivy that I'm sure a lot of people know. I'd been following her site and YouTube for a while, and recently have exchanged some emails with her. I've been told time and time again that publishing at a young age is stupid, stupid, stupid because you're a teen and you suck at writing and this is a business, not a cash cow or an easy way to become famous. And I know that's true and I've kept myself from trying to actually publish anything big...and yet after I asked Ivy, she said my age was irrelevant. If I am willing to try it, good enough for an agent, and wrote a great novel, then it's not silly to try and get published. 

What she said was really the most encouraging thing I've ever heard and...well, whether or not things go well with The Legend of Jane the Reaper, I'm still going to try to write Anne's story this summer. It has to be at around 90k words (at least, that's the maximum limit I'm giving myself because of the pressures of first time novelists), and I will rewrite it three to five times, as well as show it to test audiences, then try to query agents throughout senior year. I don't want to speed through it, but at the same time, I want to finally try. If I'm rejected, then great, I'll know I'm not ready and I need to grow more. But I want to stop denying myself the chance of becoming the one thing I've always wanted to be.

5) I've been increasingly detaching myself from people, and not in an alluring, sweetly mysterious way, in a really shitty way. I haven't talked nor do I wish to speak with people from school or in my state for that matter. I haven't had a proper conversation with Carpathia for some time. Jordan noted we've been growing apart, and since I didn't know what to say after she sent me a text with those words , I haven't even responded. Every time I speak with you knw who, I get more angry, and into more fights with him. Not to mention I've been acting like a total idiotic brat to my family. I'm not sure what exactly is prohibiting my ability to openly communicate with those I care for, but it's not going away and it's just my fault. I kind of really suck right now.

And that's the news.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When I was in eight grade, towards the end of the year, we had one huge book project in English class. In the first three semesters we were allowed to pick two or three books (depending on the length) and make little projects out of them--drawings, posters, small pamphlets with the characters and plot, etc. In the fourth semester, we had to pick. I remember most of the list (although maybe I'm missing one or two): Dawn, Pride and Prejudice, The Lovely Bones, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, Breathing Underwater, Maus, and finally Fahrenheit 451. My teacher read out descriptions of each book to let us know what to pick from. I was grateful that she had tried to pick one of everything; contemporary, classical, for teens, for adults, one graphic novel just in case, some long, some short, all complex or at least well written.

I gave the list to my mother and she picked out a few. I had already read Pride and Prejudice and Maus, and didn't read Lord of the Flies or Dawn that year but did so several years later. Out of the bunch, I read The Lovely Bones, Breathing Underwater, Catcher in the Rye, and Fahrenheit 451.

I'm not sure what exactly made me chose Fahrenheit. I have four favorite novels of all time and I really only read A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, and The Basic Eight much later on, with a more matured mind and formed thoughts. When I read Fahrenheit, I was very young. Barely departed from my faith, still too shy, still too judgmental. I'm glad I was able to be exposed to it at such an early age. The descriptions were everything, the dialogue was everything, Montag's interactions with everyone--his wife, Captain Beatty, Faber, Granger, Clarisse, even the woman in the burning house--was everything that made up the book and made it feel real to me.

When I was done, the edition I had held an interview. Bradbury spoke about characters, how he listened to them and wrote down their stories, he spoke about the feeble idea that the passion we have in our work should any way be connected to money. He wholeheartedly disagreed with it. He'd sold newspapers on the corner of streets and educated himself in libraries. He wrote every day for years and years.

I hope he was still writing till the very end. It made him happy.

Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.

"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.