Friday, February 5, 2016


Now Playing: 

Some random thoughts I've had throughout the week.

1) Much as I have problems with The Fault in Our Stars, the height of my hate for it occurred sometime between 17-19. It lasted a while. Yes, at the time when I should have connected the most--YA girl with a YA book--I abhorred it. I picked it back up three days ago--adult!me reread--thumbing through it, and remembered why I'd liked it during that very first read. It's lyrical. To me, it's still too pretentious and preachy and didactic and outright infuriating. But it can be lyrical.

This line:

". . .and then I just started muttering stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid over and over again until the sound unhinged from its meaning."

Bolding mine. I really liked that line.

I know John Green said once that he'd rather write something useful than write something beautiful. And that's totally fine, I wouldn't want to tell another writer how to connect and build on their craft. But he'd be among my favorite writers if he wrote that which was beautiful, because his prose really is lovely.

One of the book's themes is about, like, gender perceptions of heroism and general heroic narratives (which leads to that baffling line regarding V for Vendetta), and it's got a ton of water-related metaphors. I'd completely forgotten about that.

I'm not going to say this book is a direct influence on my book, but I guess it stuck in some ways. Some. Ways.

My water metaphors are part because I was a swimmer for years and part because of the Drell religion discussed in Mass Effect--they coincide the afterlife and other divine places with the ocean.

Plus, if you romance a dying Thane, he has a letter where he says, "I will await you across the sea" to your Shepard. He also says the line, "And when you go to the sea, I'll be waiting for you by the shore." 

I just think it's a beautiful image: crossing through worlds in the same way one crosses an ocean. Which I realize is not necessarily an original concept, but it was only through Mass Effect that I really appreciated it.

But still. This water-imagery is not wholly unrelated to TFIOS, I don't think. It's like, part of the culmination of influences that led to Millennium Girl.

I still don't like TFIOS, but I don't hate it as much as I did a year ago.

Which leads to,

2) Revised-draft!Wendy likes comic books, a trait I didn't discover till sometime late last year. This has led me to realize I need to answer a question I should have asked the first time I wrote the book.

Years ago, for my AP English class, I had to write an essay about what I believed in, and the only two rules were: we have to read it in class and not go over/under time (can't remember the limits) and it has to end with the phrase, "this, I believe."

I wrote about heroism, and how it can manifest in anyone, great and kind people, or the truly despicable. Now, years later, this revised MG and this version of Wendy are making me write about the price of heroism and how it connects to a person's limits in terms of goodness/kindness.

Also, somewhat tangential, I'm also adding in a bunch of shit about using people--whether you mean to or not--but that's because, uh, I'm always reeling and overthinking past real-life conflicts.

I kinda have to write my way out of it.

3) I really wanna give myself bangs. Fringe bangs.

I've been cutting my own hair for a while now (just kind of eyeballing it and cutting it dry since it's curly) so I don't see why fringe curly bangs would be any difficult. The only problem is, the very hair I would cut is the very hair that often looks dry and frizzy. Especially in the humid Miami days.

I still wanna try >_> There are plenty of girls who can pull it off, but I have no idea how many bottles of conditioner/animal sacrifices they go through to maintain such beautiful hair:

The other problem is I have somewhat of a tiny forehead, and I've always gotten the impression bangs look better on five-heads. I'd have to confirm somewhere. . .

4) I. . .figured out I like Taylor Swift.

I like her--as pure country fans would say--post sell-out move. AKA I like her in the pop genre. I figured this out the other day when I relistened to Blank Space, which is not necessarily great musically (not to my persona taste--I have no idea what the "professional" opinion might be), but she's got a great voice, and the lyrics are really, really good. I think I appreciate the song so much because it showcases her writing and her vocals.

Plus, I'm starting to think there might be witches in Death Awakens (still deciding, still planning, still not-writing-that-one), and I think Lola (one of the main characters) would hardcore connect to Blank Space, completely oblivious to the fact that the song is deliberately over the top and in fact displays a level of egoism that is frighteningly harmful for all parties.

See, if the character of Blank Space was real, this bit seems to be a moment of complete self-awareness for her:
So it's gonna be forever
Or it's gonna go down in flames.
You can tell me when it's over
If the high was worth the pain.

From experience, she knows it'll end. She pretends there's some hope, but she knows already it never, ever works out.

As well as,
'Cause we're young and we're reckless
We'll take this way too far.

That right there sounds like something the Blank Space girl (and Lola) tells herself pre, mid, and post fall-out. Self-aware in some ways and completely oblivious in others.

Anyways, I really like the song now. I also got around to listening to 22, Welcome to New York (which, despite being described as cliche by critics, I like because she uses the word "kaleidoscope." You win me over with your word choice), Style (another one for Lola), Out of the Woods, and Wildest Dreams. I even kinda appreciated the utterly nonsensical and silly Love Story.

I still don't like a whole lot of her songs. Bad Blood, Shake it Off, You Belong with Me, Fifteen--they all make me wanna set things on fire. Terrible, terrible songs.

But I like a good chunk of her work, it seems, and I even like her as a person. Or at least what she allows people to see. I like how she's still learning about feminism and pushing to understand it and have others understand it--because to be part of the movement is to not just educate others, but constantly educate yourself.

I like how amusing and hyperactive she can be. I like that she speaks so much about reading and writing and how important they are.

Hopefully I can like whatever other music she makes. I wouldn't want this to be a one-time thing.

5) Speaking of Death Awakens. . . .

Not that I've written too much about this character--I mostly see Lola in snippets as I listen to music and click through Pinterest--but she seems like a girl with a really warped perception of who she is. Except that perception is born out of caution. It's like a self-defense mechanism; she sounds so terrified she'll be perceived as weak and easy to manipulate that she works to convince everyone--even herself--that she's like this villain in the making, untouchable, wielding uncontrollable power over everyone else.

The main emotion I get out of her is anger. Anger and desperation but not, like, in a way that makes me dislike her or pity her. I think I can sympathize with her frustrations even if I do see through her defenses.

I just hope, if I get around to writing her, I'll be able to convey that properly.

Also, speaking of popular music I now apparently like and how it relates to my writing: I was watching some old videos by YouTuber/music critic Todd in the Shadows, and he mentioned Love Me Harder by Ariana Grande and The Weeknd. I already really like The Weeknd, but hadn't listened to this song. Once I did, I found there's something very sweet about it.

I mean, I know it's meant to be super sensual in like a mature way, but that's not. . .how I'm hearing it? I'm hearing it more like two somewhat inexperienced young adults being curious and youthfully passionate about each other. Which I think is why I keep thinking of Lola and her possible relationship with the main boy character.

Although btw, I haven't figured out said boy character's name. His last name, yes, but not his given name.


P.S: Turns out Death and I like the same designer. I don't know if I'll be able to name-drop it, but at least on blogger I can say she wears McQueen.
Can't forget the shoes too:

 (She likes bunnies and high fashion. Can't say I blame her).

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"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.