Advice to write by. . .

“The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a ‘Doctor Who’ marathon or become immersed a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt.”

– L. K. Madigan

 

R. I. P.


Why I Read Like a Freak {whyilove/need2read}

So I just wrote a post on how I’ve been so affected by the release of a particular book that is part of a series I absolutely love. It makes me wonder if I’m normal for being so upset and wonder why I feel this way.

I don’t know what it’s like for everyone else but learning how to read was the best fucking thing that happened to me. A little background about me. I’m the oldest kid of immigrants from South Korea. I was raised speaking Korean until I hit preschool age. There were tears of frustration, fear, and sadness because I couldn’t communicate properly.

I also lived in a rough neighborhood. We lived on the very corner of a street surrounded by Hispanic/Latino families. We were the only Asian family for that entire block. And that part of the city? Well, let’s just say I didn’t leave the windows open because of the sound of gunshots and ambulances during the night. So I ended up only having my younger sister as a playmate since none of my friends lived near me.

Now I moved to a new town for first grade which is around the time I learned how to read. Do you know what it’s like to be the new kid at not just an elementary school but one in a town that is pretty rich? Do you know what it’s like to struggle with first-grade level homework not because you can’t do the work but because you simply can’t understand what is being asked? I remember struggling with my parents all night long trying to translate the words. Very quickly I learned never to ask my parents for help on homework, I had to figure out on my own or ask my friends. I opted for the former.

So when I finally figured out that certain letters formed recognizable words. . .I was so excited. There was a very thin beginner’s level book. Maybe like 5-10 pages long. Simple sentences and lot’s of pictures. But I read it over and over and over and over again. I could communicate and finally understand without an adult’s help. It was amazing.

And as I’m taking a trip down memory lane, I realize now why I escaped to books. I was teased and bullied a lot as a kid. From first grade all the way to fifth grade, I felt out of place. Never had a best friend. Memories jumble together. Kids spitting in my face. Kids calling me names. Kids looking at me and making it very clear that I wasn’t welcome. And I don’t think I ever really explained too well to my mom just how bad it was.

Fast forward to me moving back to my hometown due to family financial issues. I attended a strict private Catholic school that made me feel unwelcome. My parents were fighting all the time about money. I had discovered the first unpaid bill of many. My family situation got worse. Bankruptcy. Eviction. The constant fear that debt collectors would come and take more possessions away because we couldn’t pay for them.

No wonder I dove into the world of books. It was just easier to lose myself in a different universe where magic existed and the heroes always defeated the bad guys. Where there were always happy endings. Something I so desperately wanted.

I’m 20 now. I’m attending a good college and am fairly confident that I’ll find a decent job and do well for myself. I have wonderful friends who always are there to support me. My family’s situation has gotten a lot better and I work enough to take care of myself.

But I can’t escape the lure of books. The promise of a great adventure. I used to think something was seriously wrong with me. Even my own parents point it out to me all the time. They can’t understand why I spend so much money on books and are concerned with the amount of time I spend just lazing around and reading instead of socializing like most kids.

And I think this explains a lot on why I don’t smoke, do drugs, or drink alcohol. My lack of interest. Books to me have been that addiction since I was small. Nothing could really replace what good writing can do.

There is also this urge–compulsory desire to write. Write, write, write. Just write out all my feelings and thoughts. To create characters and introduce them to crazy circumstances.

I have a hard time facing reality because it’s just been so hard these past 20 years to acknowledge the truth of the hard life I’ve had. I’m grateful for all the experiences because I know that each little struggle made me stronger.

But this is also why I love stories with happy endings. I’m still looking for mine. And I hope one day I will find it.


Too Attached?

I finished skimming “The Invisible Ring” by Anne Bishop today. I’m actually saving the reading part for the weekend when I have to work for 7 hours straight. And I mean, I’ve read this book already so it wasn’t something new.

I remember discovering the Dark Jewels Trilogy. I had asked the YA librarian to suggest books to me because I had obviously inhaled the small YA section too quickly for anyone my age. She plucked a bunch of titles (because she also knew I simply DEVOURED books) and then suggested “Daughter of the Blood.” I’m pretty sure I was actually too young at the time. Somewhere between 12-14ish because I definitely recall feeling embarrassed and my cheeks grow hot at the sex scenes. It was something a quiet/innocent Korean American girl who also went to church every Sunday would never read.

But I did. And damn did it totally change my life. Besides this book, only Harry Potter has had such a huge impact on my reading adventures. This is the series that really made me go, “Wow. I wish I could write a book like this.” OR “This book makes me want to write.”

These books instantly grabbed hold of me. I found myself borrowing them from the library over and over again. Then I ended up buying my own copies and own pretty much every book that’s set in the Blood Realms except for “Tangled Webs.”

I’ve grown so attached to Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar. I love the world of powerful Queens and violent Warlord Princes. It was the most amazing fantasy/romance I’ve read in my life.

Now, back to my main point. In March, Anne Bishop is releasing her “final” installment in this world and it does not have a happy ending. I’ve read the spoilers and they really affected me because. . .the main character DIES. Not only does Jaenelle die, but Daemon (her lover) whose sole mission throughout all the books has been to love her moves on with Surreal and has a kid with her. Dreams Made Flesh 2.0! Plus, Saetan dies too!

I mean, I’ve never really liked Jaenelle. She is the epitome of a Mary Sue. And I agree that the writer/author has every right to do whatever needs to be done to tell the story that needs to be told.

But wow. The revelation of knowing that Jaenelle, Dreams Made Flesh, dies? I mean, yes, of course it’s hinted at. Duh. Daemon is part of the long-lived race while Jaenelle isn’t. But couldn’t Anne Bishop just left them at a happy ending? We know someday they were going to have to say good-bye.

And my other issue is that Surreal doesn’t really REALLY get her one true love. I mean, that’s the pattern. In the trilogy, the novellas, the other stand-a-alone books. A witch finds her soulmate and lives happily ever after.

And yes, I know I’m getting worked up over a book. A story. FICTIONAL characters that are NOT REAL.

But ohmygod, reading this one quote at the end of “Invisible Ring” just broke my heart knowing what will happen in the future.

“I don’t know. She hasn’t been born yet. But I’ve loved, and served, her all my life. I’ll love no other. And I”ll serve no other willingly.” [Daemon telling Jared about his loved one.]

I’m scared to read “Twilight’s Dawn” that’s coming out in March. And I probably won’t read it until the summer. Because~

1) It’s hardcover. And that means I have to shell out double or triple the amount I would have to pay for a paperback.

2) I can’t handle the emotional distress that might happen since I’m in school.

I almost wish that I never checked Anne Bishop’s website for a new book. Because I am going to read the book even though I”ll be cringing every page until the end.

And maybe it’s because I’m only 20 right now. It’s hard for me to imagine that someone can love so deeply and then find another to replace her.

But like another reviewer said, if you can’t find true love happily-ever-afters in stories. . .where can you find them?

 


TO READ [02.23.11.]

You know how you find interesting links on Twitter? Yeah I found so many that I just left them all opened on tabs in Firefox but haven’t had a chance to read them. I’m making it my mission to read them sometime before the end of today.


What kind of books will I write?

I want to write a book that will invade the reader’s mind and not leave until they are done.

I want to write a book that will have characters that are kickass and the kind of people you’d love to have as friends.

I want to write a book about tight bonds whether it be familial, friendship, or romantic.

I want to write a book that will make people scream in anger, cry in sorrow, and laugh in happiness.

I want to write a book that will let readers relax and forget about the harsh reality of life. Just give something to give them a peace of mind.

I want to write a book that will be read again and again because readers don’t want to leave the world I created.

I want to write a book that will inspire the reader to go out and do amazing things.

I want to write a book that will be just more than a story but a message about our society.

I want to write a book that will make new readers and writers.

But most of all, I want to write a book so that when a person finishes the last page they go: “Damn, that was fucking awesome.” And then feel that satisfying pleasure run through their mind knowing they had done right in taking the time to read my book when they could have done something else more exciting.


Dresden Files (2): Fool Moon [review]

Title: Fool Moon

Author: Jim Butcher

Page #: 401

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery

Thoughts:

I felt this book was hard to get into. Maybe there was just too much that I didn’t know as a reader but I didn’t feel myself eager to turn pages until around 163 when the action really started. And I really don’t think I should need more than even five pages to get me hooked on a story.

I liked the variety and complications of the whole werewolf legend. Jim Butcher took a trite supernatural being and added a good punch of originality to it. What I really enjoy about this series is the detail of what it’s like being a wizard. From the soul-gazing experience, to having a possessed skull as a spell book, and explanation to potion making definitely make it believable because Harry relays this so matter-of-factly.

This book shows cements the fact that there is an enemy Harry has yet to face yet and I hope we get to meet a new adversary in the next book. Plus, I really want to see Harry and Murphy together.

Writer’s Takeaway:

One thing I need to mention is how much of a hard time I had connecting with Harry Dresden. Or any of the characters actually. On the basic level, sure. Anyone can. But I think this particular book helped me realize why we need a New Adult genre. The in-between from childhood/adolescence and adulthood. Because while I realize being in college makes me young. . . .Harry Dresden refers to the college student werewolves as “kids.” I tried not to bristle at being lumped in like that. Plus, I just can’t relate to a man who has a hard time paying his bills and worrying about “real life.”

However, I so love Butcher’s/Harry’s voice. So sarcastic. Love it.


City of Glass [review]

Title: City of Glass [Book 3 of The Mortal Instruments]

Author: Cassandra Clare

Page #: 541 [WTF!]

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading the first book, “City of Bones”, and thought it had potential. The second book, “City of Ashes”, was interesting enough for me to get this third installment.

It didn’t really live up to my expectations (which weren’t that high in the first place).

I found myself thinking every ten pages with a groan, “Am I done yet?” I’m all for multiple point of views and switching up the scenery but I felt like once I adjusted to a scene with Clary and her problems then it would just abruptly end and pick up with Simon’s predicament then cliffhangered off to yet another scene. There was too much going on individually for me that I got frustrated.

Something that is really important to me when I’m reading is a connection with the main character. I didn’t feel that with Clary. In fact, I don’t think I really know what her personality is like. The girl is described as someone who is stubborn with a temper but maybe I was too annoyed with the length of the book or distracted by the angst flinging everywhere to notice.

I also felt like Max’s death was a huge waste of space and words. What does it accomplish except for everyone feeling bad about themselves? Why would Sebastian kill Max and not Isabelle? You could have cut out Max’s existence entirely and the story would have gone along fine.

And what is a 9-year-old kid reading Angel Sanctuary? Cassandra Clare, you do realize the manga portrays an actual incestuous relationship?

I DID like how we get more of the background of Shadowhunter history and the angels’ involvement. The original twists on biblical themes and the Jace’s sarcastic comments are probably the only reasons why I’ll continue reading the sequels–but I’m in no hurry.

Writer’s Takeaway:

– don’t write excessively long books that will annoy the reader

– give readers time to actually adjust to the scene and don’t frustrate them with cliffhangers

– villains are always bad is such an awful way to portray antagonists

– create a character that readers can actually connect with and make sure to inject some personality

– need more gay characters. period.