The State of the Writer: 7/23/16

<–The State of the Writer: 7/16/16          The State of the Writer: 7/30/16–>

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.

Content Warning: Discussions of rape and rape rhetoric.

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 273, 963
Prior Word Count: 274,492
Word Difference: -529
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd Edit of Chapter 2

Angel Wing Pin

I started the second edit of Chapter 2 this week and thoroughly abandoned any ideas of finishing the full edit by Christmas.  Second edits tend to go smoother than firsts, since many of the worst tangles have been worked out.  I can usually edit more pages the second time around in one sitting.  Last night I made it through three.  It was also late, and I was tired, so it’s possible in more ideal conditions, I could edit more.  I’d like to say the second edit will be finished by weekend’s, er, end, but I always seem to be wrong with these things, so I’m not going to bother to predict.

The angel wing pin picture above comes with a background story.   When I initially reached this point of the story, I was 90% certain I was going to make him mayor of the town.  I’m not sure what the 10% negative was, but once I realized I’d again be making a Les Miserable reference, I was all for it.  Northern Lights takes a great deal of inspiration from Les Mis, and The Broken Rose is arguably an alternative spinoff of Northern Lights. 

After seeing the latest rendition of Hugo’s social masterpiece, I realized how I’d begin NL with Sephiroth chained in Midgar.  Granted that’s also a major Paradise Lost reference, but it was the scene in Les Mis where Cosette sees Jean Val Jean’s shackle scars that solidified it for me.  While Sephiroth has no (visible) scars, that scene in the movie made me visual Aeris finding him chained somewhere in the city.

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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni #1) (DNF)

This is an unfinished book review as I did not complete the book in question.  Sometimes a story doesn’t hold my interest enough or there’s a a fatal flaw in the writing that makes it impossible for me to read; however, I feel that I should still put up my impressions of the story and explain why I was unable to make it through.  These reviews will vary in length depending on how much of the novel I was able to complete.

Title: The Golem and the Jinni
Series Title: The Golem and the Jinni
Author: Helene Wecker
Genre: Fantasy

The Golem and the Jinni CoverPages: 486
Publication Date: April 2013
Media Type: Kindle

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

I was brought to Helene Wecker’s novel on the recommendation of a friend and fellow writing. After reading the blurb, I became a bit pre-enthralled because of the mention of Kabablistic magic, since I have the Tree of Life tattooed on my right arm.

The Golem and the Jinni follows the plight of Chava, a golem left alone in the world after her master dies at sea, and then moves to Ahmad, a jinni born of fire in the ancient Syrian desert. I downloaded a sample and read through, but something bothered me; something was lacking, though I couldn’t figure out what. So I searched through reviews and found mostly fours/fives before I stumbled upon a three. Here hid my kindred spirit who pointed out the tale’s lack of passion. That was it. That’s what was missing. The story was fine; the words more than serviceable, but there was no flame beneath, a sad lack for a novel partially about a fire entity. The author knows how to put words together, but never infused anything into them. I was quite disappointed, because I really, really wanted to like this story.

The sample ended not long after the introduction of Ahmad the jinni, and I toyed with the idea of buying the novel because I was interested in what happened to the characters, but the lack of passion stilled my hand. This would be a story that I would look up the synopsis for on Wikipedia rather than spend my time reading.  If you’re able to look past the missing passion I am sure it’s a more than adequate tale.

2 stars.







The State of the Writer: 7/16/16

<–The State of the Writer: 7/9/16          The State of the Writer: 7/23/16–>

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
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 274, 492
Prior Word Count: 275,045
Word Difference: -553
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st Edit of Chapter 2

Bedroom with Canopy BedI am still on Chapter 2, and it’s almost been two weeks.  I came to a conclusion that I thought was going to be a hard truth, but once I arrive at it, it forced me to be easier on myself.

I realized I’m not going to finish editing this by Christmas.  I would have to edit a chapter a week, and I’ve already fallen behind with that.  I started the current chapter on 7/3.  It’s 7/16 and I still haven’t finished the first edit.  It’s just not going to happen, and pushing myself to already stretched limits will just make me break.  Editing is also on my planner every day, and that needs to change.  I fully intend to edit most days of the week, but it’s just not feasible for me to edit every day especially when I have other things to work on.  Like the essay I’ll talk about below, book reviews, game reviews, game playing, etc.  I also want to reedit and repost some of my older fanfictions and reedit and resubmit some of my old original work in addition to reediting the paranormal romance novel I put on hold.  I worry about disappointing people who are interested in reading my work so I want it out now, but one, most of the people who’ve expressed interest understand that writing/editing takes time, and I’m starting to think about that like I think about GRRM and The Winds of Winter.  Of course I want to read it, but stories don’t come quickly or easily.  Even though I’m a nobody and he’s the author of the greatest fantasy epic of our time, at the very least I can extend that same, small courtesy to myself.

So I will be taking some time (probably on the weekends) to edit some of my older fanfictions.  I really want to revise my very first one Forgiveness and Redemption and get that back up here and elsewhere (it’s an FFVII Aeriseph one, too).  Same with Borrowed Lives.  Although that one is up; I have a little bit of tweaking to do with it.  Then my short story Threads of Sorrow needs to be reedited and resubmitted in a process that will surely include rejection and heartbreak.  Don’t get me started on the paranormal romance The Serpent’s Tale.  And I have ideas for new stories, too.

So *takes deep breath* now that that’s out of the way, I can talk about my progress on this edit instead of worrying about the completion of the edit.  The picture above is a potential one for the chapter.  It’s close to what Aeris’s new bed and bedroom look like.  Not…quite perfect, but it’s a start.  I figured out that I want to have a picture of her room to represent the chapter, because her having not just a new home but a home is a major point in this part about gentleness.  I want to look up others, and would love to find a picture of a bedroom with a canopy bed and a view out a window to a balcony.  If any one locates something like this and tells me, I would be beyond grateful.  In my mind’s eye, the canopy’s drapes are a dark color, maybe rich wine red, and the carpet is plush and white.  It is a place I would love to awaken, though no one deserves to awaken in Aeris’s state.

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The State of the Reader: 6/29/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/22/16          The State of the Reader: 7/6/16–>

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.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.

Books Finished This Week: 2

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


Review will be forthcoming.  Oddly enough the action and interest dipped and lifted like a flyer in a series of eddies.  I wonder if that was done purposely or if it was just a happy accident of the wind.

Title: Paradise Lost
: John Milton

Paradise LostI’ll be honest with you.  I didn’t finish the volume; I looked up the last two Books on the internet and read the summary there.  I’m glad I did.  I didn’t miss much excitement.  I also didn’t find the direct reference I was looking for (the internet lied to me) about God taking one of Satan’s wings as punishment for rebelling (which if you’ve been paying any sort of attention would particularly interest a fangirl such as me), but I believe it may be something that readers/scholars could’ve interpreted from either the first or sixth book.  I’m unsure, but regardless, Milton’s epic poem was still highly influential in the narrative of FFVII and my second favorite story ASOIAF. 

I think I”m going to do the review for this differently though.  Instead of posting a written one, I’m going to attempt to do  a video one since I have an abundance of notes for this epic and could just talk/rant about it on camera.  I don’t have the equipment for such right now, but the desire to do this might spur this process on.

Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

Went up one percentage!  Go me!!  I’m still plugging away at this volume.  Maybe I’ll finish it this year; it would be a decade long accomplishment.  After this I want to find a good translation of the Sepher Yetzirah, so if any of you have any recommendations on that, I’d love to hear them.

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 32%

It’s going to be interest noting the progress for this once since I’m reading it from another book I didn’t technically add, The Sonnets and Narrative Poems: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry.  There are many compendium books for great and classical authors so you must either choose adding their works one by one or as part of a particular volume.  I decided to add Shakespeare’s works one at a time, which may inflate my finished “book” count, but I’m not overly worried about it.  While A Midsummer Night’s Dream may not be a novel, I’d still count it as a finished book (Note: I’ve already read Midsummer…should probably make sure that’s on my read list).

It is exceedingly difficult to read a poem about rape, while editing a story about the same 😦  I actually haven’t read any more of this since starting my edit of The Broken Rose.  It’s…just too much.  Once I get far enough in my edit where rape is no longer directly forefront, I think I can pick this back up.  I’m very happy I started reading it though.  This is another one of my so-called “VII  books” (books/stories I read because of FFVII), as the game makes a pretty important reference to Lucretia, though it’s ironically and tragically only discovered during a side quest.  I also think ASOIAF is playing with and subverting the main motif the poem.  I may post a meta on tumblr about this.  I was quite excited about the revelation.

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016


Medium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Sometimes you find a book where the title itself speaks poetry.  Thus is The Slow Regard of Silent Things.  The moniker alone evokes both potential horror and poignant poetry.  Sometime that both has time for silence and slow regard must be long lived in deed.  It puts me in the mind of Lovecraftian horror, as if something dark and horrible is watching, watching, always watching and waiting for what we do not know.

I just realized something else this picture reminds me of: the first time you see the Emerald Weapon in FFVII.  I’m not going to bother to put a link/picture, since I haven’t been able to find a screenshot of that particular moment, but the first time I played and saw it, it terrified me.  You’re in a cave and you just see this great, slivered eye open, look at your characters, then close again.  It’s…unsettling to say the least.

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