Burned by Farenheit 451

“You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.”

These were the words that I read in the back of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. And it’s almost as though I cannot escape them. Isn’t this the universal truth about anything that you invest your time and energy into? You either love it or you don’t.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m halfassing my goals because I’m not in love with them. Maybe I’m just in love with the idea and not the action itself … just like those women who love weddings and the idea of love but forget that they have to be in love and in a marriage the next day. Maybe…

After I finished Farenheit 451 I thought to myself, what would happen to us if there weren’t any books? What would happen to us, if we didn’t have a few words on a page to enlighten, to inspire, to sympathize? What if we only had bright lights and sounds to comfort us? Immediately, I thought I’d go insane. Even though I do not read as much as I would like to, the idea of having my face glued to a colorful box 24/7/52 just made me lose it internally. Can you imagine how mushy our brains would become?

But then I thought about the bigger issue … the issue of having a cause to fight for. And I wondered if I was “fighting” hard enough to become what I ultimately want to be. I know that my writing isn’t up to par, and that half the time (well, in the past few months, rather) my thoughts are disjointed … slightly incoherent. But does that mean I should stop all together — or just fight harder?

“They must write you. They must control you,” said Bradbury. “They plot me. I never control. I let them have their lives. ”

Word.

“I just let them speak. I don’t control them; I simply give them a podium and let them talk to me. All my good stories are told to me by the characters. I don’t write my stories. They write me.”

I used to just sit and wait. And then all of a sudden, a wave would wash over me. I would just start typing and typing away and next thing you know, there were characters on a page. And they were doing things. And saying things. And loving people. And kissing people. And killing people. The experience was like … a movie playing in the dark recesses of my mind and my hands were trying ever so hard to catch every moment, every detail so that it was out of my mind and onto a medium that everyone else could see. But it seems as though the movie theater is closed. And No matter how hard I try to pry it open, the boards are nailed down tight.

“You have to believe in that self as a writer, or you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Is it that my belief is not as strong … that I lack the appropriate amount of faith? Three unfinished novels, an unfinished novella and an unfinished book of short stories. People say that stories cannot write themselves, but I believe they can.

Maybe my characters have abandoned me until I am ready once again to give them all their much needed attention. Maybe they’re waiting until I fully believe that I am the one to tell their stories.

The Left Hand of Darkness Made Me See The Light

I completed The Left Hand of Darkness  with about 7 days left in the month to go, achieving my first goal of finishing the epic sci-fi novel before the end of May.

As I mentioned before, the book is slightly dense, and the hardest yet most endearing part of the book dealt with the journey of  the two main characters, Genly and Estraven, across this massive ice land. I didn’t think I would make it through, much like the characters. But I did. And when I made it through with them, it was a quick succession of events that ended with me being very teary-eyed. I may have shed a tear or two.

So … what did I take from the book?

1. To Push Beyond the Envelope
If it’s one thing that Ursula definitely does throughout most of this novel, it’s making you think. From the introduction to the end of the book, this woman had my brain working overtime. First she gives me an an androgynous/sexless/hermaphroditic society, then he poses questions about the consequences of equality, and then she talks about the duality of a person, while weaving in all these sociological and political undertones. It was like:

2. To Make a Story Rich
TLHOD had a lot of vocabulary. At one point I thought I was straight out stupid because I didn’t know half of the words in this book. Then I realized that she made them up! And used them so flawlessly in between actual words that I couldn’t tell the difference. And of course, her story was made all the richer for it because her world was complete with its own words to describe its culture

and last but not least…

3. Don’t Be Afraid of a Long Tale
As I previously mentioned before, I only got into TLHOD after hearing it mentioned in a movie I watched a while back.  It was only after I started reading the book, did I learn that it was a part of a larger tale. One of my fears it to have a story that’s really now and not interesting, but sometimes it does take several tales (sometimes even different ones that interweave in and out) to tell a story, or make it more interesting. Not to mention, I loved the way Ursula changed her narration between scientific findings, to the point of view of one character to the legend of a group people to the point of view of another character for the same event.

That’s about it for now. Oh, I’ve also started on book 12 of 13 in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (aka the True Blood books) called Deadlock.

After this book, it’s Dead Ever After and then we can say goodbye to all the characters that I’ve grown to hate, dislike, loathe, can’t stand, and love. However, I did read somewhere that we can apparently expect an epilogue novel with a follow-up of all the main characters. *shrugs*

Con Amor,
-Alja

Inspiration: Thinking…

Inspiration for my dark but beautiful Queen.
As of late, I’ve been thinking about what to do with myself, and as much as I want to write, I find myself lacking the inspiration that came to me. Unfortunately I do not have my camera to take out photos of the lush untamed natural life here in Baltimore suburbs, but I did think about this picture I found online, depicting what I think my dastardly queen should look like. I posted the chapter on her. What do you think? Anyone…