4 stars · 5 stars · Anna's Life · Book Reviews · Books · Maggie Stiefvater · Music Reviews · on writing · The Lumineers · Thoughts · Troye Sivan · TV Shows · Uncategorized

(I’m not gone, I promise.)

I’ve got a bad cold, so it looks like it’s going to be a lazy day. Perfect time for a blog post, eh? I thought so, too.

Reading

I just finished reading The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. It’s a book that teaches writing by showing examples of writing, a technique of which I most heartily approve. I put this book on hold at the library because after reading The Raven Cycle, I am absolutely spellbound by Maggie Stiefvater. Her writing has such magic to it, and she makes me fall in love with writing in a way that only my friend Gina (author of the recent The Rose and the Sword) has been able to do before.

This was such a great read not only because I got writing advice from my beloved Maggie (if I was born in the time of Homer, I’d probably offer sacrifices to beg her to be my Muse), but because I discovered a new favourite – Brenna Yovanoff (now I have to go look for books she’s written). Not only was her story right up my alley (modern YA with a twist of the Gothic), but she showed her writing process in a very different way from Maggie and Tessa (just the short story with comments here and there). Brenna first told a story from her childhood of a drowning that stuck with her the rest of her life before showing the short story as well as a very different earlier draft. While I wasn’t a big fan of Tessa and her world-building, her story at least kept my interest. The book also had a few sections of words from the author s – for example, how to gain ideas and the overwhelming doubt that plagues readers.

Anna’s rating: 5 stars (note to self: need to buy a copy of this book to have forever)

(I also just read “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and I loved it so much. Victorian values and mental illness – just up my street! [Do I sound like an insane person to most of you? Probably.])

Reading now: And Quiet Flows the Don, on request of my mother. I honestly don’t know what to think of these characters. I love my snarky broken characters, but all most of these characters just seem to be really horrible human beings. I’ve also got The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, which I am really excited to read because that man has wit I really enjoyed “An Ideal Husband” and “The Happy Prince.”

Music

My recent favourites have been The Lumineers’s new(ish) album Cleopatra and Troye Sivan’s Blue Neighbourhood.

The Lumineers is a folky band. I really enjoyed their first album, and this one is a treat, too (perhaps even better). My favourite songs from it are “Cleopatra,” “Angela,” “Gale Song” (yes, from one of those Hunger Games movies), and “White Lie.” | | Anna’s rating: 4 stars

Troye Sivan is one of those popular new kids who has a pop/electronic sound to his music, although there are some ‘quieter’ songs like his duet with Betty Who, “Heaven.” My favourite songs from his album are “Fools,” “Talk Me Down,” “Heaven,” “Youth,” “Lost Boy,” and “Surburbia.” I really like how the album is really thematized – ideas from certain songs being expanded in others.

Example

“Wild” – too long since I’ve been a fool

“Fools” – only fools fall for you / I see swimming pools and living rooms and aeroplanes

“Swimming Pools” (which isn’t on my edition of the album) – so tell me how I’m going to get past this wave to empty swimming pools

I could go more into detail and do a real review on this album, but I’m not going to – at least not today. Anyway, I’d probably give this album 5 stars.

Writing

We’ve started to do more in our writing class, although I get frustrated sometimes and wish there was a class for People Who Have Already Mastered These Skills and Can Already Write, But Still Want to Learn. But on the positive note, it is making sure I do actually sit down and write (which I am woefully bad at)! For example, I just wrote four poems for my submission tomorrow (you know, if I’m able to drag myself out of the house by then).

I also started working on the Alice novel I started last semester (which I mentioned a little more than halfway down this post). I have estimated that I wrote close to 4000 words over Saturday and Sunday, which is pretty impressive for this imbecile slacker here. I touched up the plot a bit to change the meaning of the story because I was writing about a point that I’ve moved past. I also rewrote a couple scenes and added several new scenes. The main character’s little brother is becoming my dear precious cinnamon roll one, and I’m thinking that if I do write a second book as I was planning (woahh slow down Anna you’re getting way too far ahead of yourself here), Jeffrey will probably be the main character.

Writing is a very frustrating process because there always seems to be too many neurons firing at once because Anna’s Brain gets very Excited when she writes. For example…

Thought One: Alright, we are going to write this new scene.

Thought Two: No, change that old scene first. It was absolute garbage, darling, and we must pull out that dreadful thing.

Thought One: Okay, so what if we put that on hold for a moment…

Thought Two: NO, IT IS DESPICABLE. A DISGRACE. DISGRACEFUL, I TELL YOU.

Thought Three: If anyone is looking over your shoulder right now, they’d wonder if you are retarded.

Thought Four: SOMEONE IS COMING ABORT MISSION ABORT!!!

Thought Five: This writing is so bad. It sounds nothing like Maggie. I desperately want to write like Maggie. Why can’t I write like Maggie? Whyyyy??????

Thought One: Try the new scene anyhow?

Thoughts Two, Three, Four, and Five: GO SIT IN THE CORNER.

Thought One: Fine. *sulks*

Thought Six: Okay, what was I doing? I can’t remember. Maybe I should just write later.

If I listen to the smart little voice who says no you can do this just try a little longer then I can get into a groove and all I just do is pour words on the paper, without caring (too much) whether it sounds good or not.

Shows

I just started watching Penny Dreadful recently (I’m three episodes in) and I am quite enjoying it. It’s a Victorian Gothic show and brings in such fictional characters as Victor Frankenstein (who is a precious Sinnamon roll who must be protected at all costs) and Dorian Gray (so far). Of course, it’s got some scenes I have to move to the next browser until it finishes (lately, it just makes me laugh that people somehow think having sexual content in a show is so important??? Laughing in derision. Cynical laughter. More like that.) and it’s got a little more blood than I’d like (again, is shock value so important? there’s something wrong if that’s what you have to resort to), but besides those two elements, I really like it. Vanessa Ives is such a great female character.

(Status: horribly scared about the Supernatural finale tonight)

 

And to end, here are some

Little Treasures from My Tumblr

(If I scroll through the first page, I’ve got Filipino and Greek mythology, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Les Miserables, and Mr. Matthew Daddario – it’s not fair that he exists. And when he does photoshoots?! So rude.)

  • Apparently, in the Czech version of Les Miserables, Grantaire’s last words are “forgive me” instead of “do you permit it?” and that’s almost as good.
  • Patroclus and Achilles’s story with Steve and Bucky?! Yes please!!!
  • what studying languages is like (I particularly relate to Latin and French.)
  • A dad joke™, courtesy of my father…
    • Troye Sivan: My youth is yours!
    • My dad: Isn’t that what victims of vampires say?
  • Aragorn or Legolas? Aragorn, all the way. He’s an Outdoors Man™ and such a hunk. Legolas is just a pretty boy elf.
  • A song that breaks your heart? “Hum Hallelujah” by Fall Out Boy and “Young Gods” by Halsey.
  • list ten books that you have an emotional connection with: The Lord of the Rings, Les Misérables, Pride and Prejudice, Hamlet, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Raven Cycle seriesThe Book Thief, Mockingjay, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Glengarry Glenn Ross (I cheated and used two plays).
  • “I have a secret feeling that deep down we’re all Hobbits. Deep down we all want to stay home and feel safe but we all dream about someone knocking on the door and saying ‘come on and adventure and let’s have a fun ride'” (Richard Armitage – probably the only celebrity who actually knows his Tolkien now that Christopher Lee is gone).
  • “What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul” (Neil Gaiman, American Gods).
  • “I must go in. The fog is rising” (Emily Dickinson’s last words – queue sobbing).

 


Anna is a university student who likes to blog about her favourite things – literature (both reading and writing), listening to music, and the occasional TV show or movie. At the moment, she is thinking that she has done enough to satisfy her audience, for her shoulders are aching and her head feels like it is about to explode.

One thought on “(I’m not gone, I promise.)

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