The State of the Writer: 6/11/16

<–The State of the Writer: 6/4/16          The State of the Writer: 6/18/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Previous Word Count: 266,383
Current Word Count: 271,708
Words Written This Week: 5325
Status: WIP

Bows on the Toes

White slipper shoes with bows on the toes are a major staple of Aeris’s wardrobe in this future she sees as surreal  Shoes of this type are very popular with weddings, but I think they’re quite adorable and more than fitting for an innocent flower girl to wear.

Content Warning: Discussions of rape/sexual assault to follow.

Even though The Broken Rose is a fanfiction that only a small fraction of people will read, the majority off them being not only fans of FFVII, but also the specific Aeriseph pairing, this week has made it more relevant to me, because this story has pulled rape to the forefront.  I linked to the survivor’s letter because she is the person whose words most need to be heard.

Continue reading

Festering Dreams, Broken Vases, and Catharsis

Content Warning:  Discussions/Mentions of suicide.

The night before last I had a dream that didn’t consciously bother me at the outset.  I even laughed and joked with my husband about it, even though it was disturbing.  Usually the dream world is populated with randomness to color the mise en scene, but this was different; this was a story I was reading from what seemed like Martin’s Dreamsongs.

The story was about a man taking care of his aging mother, and she was a vindictive and evil bitch.  The details of that are unclear and unimportant, but when she died there was a sense of relief.  Then the man started to notice himself acting strangely…saying and thinking things that his mother would.  He was a nice person, the antithesis to her, so he didn’t understand why she was getting to him.  It turns out in the story this woman was so vindictive that when she died her consciousness refused to let go and went into her son.  Eventually, he kills himself because he can no longer take the pain/insanity, and it was implied in the story that either that’s what she wanted (reunion…which is questionable since I’m pretty on the fence about whether that even happens in the real world/after death) or he was just driven mad by guilt/grief.  It was also implied that it didn’t stop there because some monsters never rest.  The final sentence in the story was, “When mother calls you, you have to go,” which is the final line to a microstory I wrote a few months ago.  Afterwards I listened Mary Fahl’s “Better Left Alone” stuck in my head (there’s no video for it else I’d post it).  I wish I’d had that choice.

This would make an excellent horror story; one that I will never write.  It obviously has references to FFVII and ASOIAF/GOT , the latter in light of the revelations about what Bran can do.

I’m so used to disassociating that when I first woke up, I was making light of it and being like, “Uhhhh wtf?” but it’s like a time bomb planted in your brain, a venomous seed waiting to grow.  The odd/interesting and possibly ironic thing is the other day I was attempting to encourage a friend who is dealing with their own issues by telling them my Broken Vase Philosophy of which I’ve made a video.  As that is not yet edited/ready to share, I’ll just have to tell you here.

If you’re a broken vase that’s been pieced back together, a few more cracks won’t change anything.  You’re already broken.  What does it matter is some pieces create more shards?  I use this as a tool to (fittingly) hold myself together when something unpleasant occurs, but…I’m starting to think that this is false.  Some things are wedges that plunge in between your most intimate, sundered cracks.  Digging in, shattering bits all the more, but you may be too broken to notice at the outset.  You’re so used to it that you brush it off, but when you examine your hand you bleed..

I was going to make this just a Facebook status, but it became to extensive for that.  I’m fairly sure there’s already a story about it (besides FFVII  and ASOIAF I mean.  I’m thinking one set in this actually world); it seems so familiar, so known in its rue.

At the very least this post was cathartic.  My hands aren’t shaking anymore; I don’t feel like I’m going to cry.  Putting it out into the zeitgeist means I don’t have to carry it.  I was reading a post about the latest released chapter in GRRM’s masterpiece, and mentions of Lovecraftian abominations that are too terrible to comprehend just brought me back, because it’s one of the many shared paradigms.  It’s difficult when your favorite stores share common motifs, and when one major motif is your own.

Feel free to use this as a story prompt if you are so inclined.  The most disturbing horror tropes utilize the most endearing, and “Mother is the name for God.”

The State of the Reader: 6/1/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/25/16          The State of the Reader: 6/8/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Change from Last Week: -1


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 5/25/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/18/16          The State of the Reader: 6/1/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Change from Last Week: 0


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 5/18/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/11/16          The State of the Reader: 5/25/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Change from Last Week: -1


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

I finished up Book IX last night. Only two more books to go before I write an extensive review/analysis.  This might take several months mind you, but finishing this will also fulfill one of my self-imposed prerequisites for numerous essays.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 5/11/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/4/16          The State of the Reader: 5/18/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 5

Change from Last Week: -1


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
65%

Title: Taggerung
Author: Brian Jacques

TaggerungMedium: Paperback
Progress: 60%

I’m on the third and final part of this reread.  I’ll probably be finished before the end of the week.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 5/4/16

The State of the Reader: 5/11/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 6

Change from Last Week: +1


Title: The Light of the Fireflies
Author:
Paul Pen
Translator: Simon Bruni

Light of the Fireflies, TheMedium: Kindle
Progress: 13%

This is the newest edition to my reading repertoire and why my count has risen to six.  My BFF texted me about this book with a comment about how she believed she’d finally found her reading niche in “creepy as fuck.”  I looked it up and was instantly intrigued by the “what’s really going on” paradigm.  I love a good mystery and an eerie, potentially human experiment centered one always lifts my ears.  There are no names given to add to the almost inhuman and definitely inhumane atmosphere of this tale concerning a family locked away and/or hidden underground.  Besides “the boy” whom we follow as the protagonist, his other family members have been severely burned by an unknown cause.  When his sister gives birth, everyone begins acting strangely (especially considering there are only two possible fathers…her own and her and the boy’s older brother *shudders*), and the boy clings to the hope brought by fireflies that wander into their basement making him want to escape to find more of that light.

The chapters are fairly short, and I breeze through about three every night.  I’ve even taking time out from working on The Broken Rose to read this.  It is extremely hard to put down and is only around 340 pages.

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

I’ll be honest; I haven’t picked up this book in a while.  It started out really strong with such high stakes, but once I got to the middle portion titled “One-Wing” (which you’d think would completely capture my attention), my interest fell off.  The potential loses won’t be nearly as devastating to our protagonist Maris, and the conflict is more of a rivalry than anything else.  I do intend to finish it, but (like most things and my eternal excuse) writing has taken more of a priority than reading.

Continue reading

Dreamsongs: Volume I by George R. R. Martin (Dreamsongs #1)

This is a review off the first volume of George R R Martin’s Dreamsongs compendium where many of his earlier works are catalogued.  The review of the second Dreamsongs can be found here.

Every great writer starts somewhere, but there are few who display their first fruits in a compendium for all to read. George R R Martin, author of the soon to be legendary A Song of Ice and Fire series, is one of those few.  Dreamsongs, broken into two volumes and those volumes themselves split into several sections, shows the rough and the rougher in the initial part and later the luster when time and experience serves to smooth.

This is not going to be a full review of the collection, but rather a highlight and brief examination of the select few that struck in me a cord.  I was only able to complete one story in the first section known as A Four-Color Fanboy, and any attempt at others were met with resignation that it couldn’t be done.  That part holds Martin’s dullest stones, but even there, the spark of brilliance dwells.  By The Filthy Pro I was immersed, and the author also gives a foreword on each section.  His own admission on the first part’s status prompted me to speak of it without impunity for Martin himself recognizes it as his more amateur work paving the epic way.

The stories I shall touch on are as follows:

  • The Second Kind of Loneliness
  • The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr
  • The Ice Dragon
  • Nightflyers


Continue reading

Question of the Week: 1/31/16

<–Question of the Week: 1/24/16          Question of the Week: 2/7/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading four books…not something I planned.  I think once I “catch up,” I’ll try to cap it at three.  My plan is to have one fiction/fantasy, one Classic, and one reference.  Eh, actually, I can probably keep it at four since I have one book that I read on my Kindle before the dance aerobics class I attend 2-4 times a week.  Usually the Kindle book is something written by a fellow blogger, which is what’s currently happening now.

Chained: Everything You Know Is a Lie… (Cage of Lies Book 1)
This book is by fellow blogger Susanne Valenti, and it’s fast paced and holds its own very well in the sea of YA Dystopian.  I am genuinely terrified for these characters in a way I haven’t felt since Hunger Games..

Dreamsongs: Volume I
The precursor tales to A Song of Ice and Fire may hold some key information on Martin’s epic high fantasy will end  I’ll be a doing a brief review of this or at least talking about the stories that really touched me, but just for a taste, I’ll say that “The Second Kind of Loneliness” is one of the most haunting stories I’ve ever read.  It hits  you so hard with its universal sorrow.  Some of his earlier stories are a bit rough (which Martin himself admits), but you can see the growth with ever installation.

Paradise Lost
“So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost.”

I should’ve read this ten years ago seeing as it is heavily referenced in nearly all of my favorite stories (Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, the many times mentioned ASOIAF, and the more mentioned FFVII).  I’m in the midst of Book VII and I’ll have quite an extensive analysis to write once I’m done.  I don’t know if it’ll be book by book, but I know I won’t be able to encompass everything that needs said in one blog post.

The Mystical Qabalah
This is another volume I should’ve read a long time ago as there’s a major reference (or references rather) to it in my beloved FFVII.  I’ve been fascinated by religious symbolism for a long time, and I’m always interested in the origin of things, where they spring from and how they’re shaped.  Even though I’m still in the midst of this book, the concept of the Tree of Life has influenced me deeply enough that I have a tattoo of it on my right arm.


 

What are you currently reading?  Do you normally read more than one book at a time or do you try to conquer your literary mountain one at a time?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 1/24/16          Question of the Week: 2/7/16–>