The Friday Four: Candy!

I could join the bandwagon and write about NaNoWriMo (it’s tomorrow? already?), but because it’s Halloween, I’m 26 going on 6, and I feel silly today, I’m going to talk about four of my favorite types of candy.

1. Milk chocolate. The plain kind. Not the kind with almonds, not the kind with peanuts, not the white chocolate, not the dark chocolate. Good old-fashioned milk chocolate. This can be in the form of an ordinary Hershey bar, M&Ms, those little Dove squares with inspirational sayings on the wrappers, or the more fancy kinds. The only chocolate I really don’t like is Palmer’s.

2. Cow Tales. These are so sweet and creamy that it’s impossible to eat just one. When I was younger, I wished more people would give out Cow Tales on Halloween (the full-size ones, not the little short ones).

3. Jolly Ranchers. Their flavor actually tastes somewhat like real fruit, as opposed to all those other fruit-flavored candies out there. And they’re good for when you’re trying to concentrate on something.

4. Gummy bears. Or gummy worms. Basically anything soft and squishy and fruit-flavored that’s in the shape of an animal. One local drug store even has gummy sharks, which I find hilarious (and delicious).

So what’s your favorite (or least favorite) candy?

Poetry Time: Scent of Burnt Bridges

September 16, 2010

don’t play basketball
in my house
with the ball
that’s in your court.

bounce it back to me
feint, retreat, lay it up,
take it to the hoop,
take it out of bounds.

i’ll listen to the whistle
of the coach
shriek into my ear

i’ll breathe in the scent
of sweat,
of burnt bridges

i’ll tell you not
to play with me
i don’t play nice anymore.

RAFAEL Editing Issues

This past Saturday, I looked at RAFAEL again after putting it aside for a month. My intent was not to line-edit and catch every single typo and misused word (although I couldn’t resist fixing what I happened to see), but what I really wanted to do was go through the story and find big picture issues to fix in a second draft. I’ve gotten through 71 out of 188 pages so far and have already noticed a bunch of things:

  • I have a bunch of conflicts, but a lot of them are minor, and they aren’t woven cohesively into the story. I need to determine which conflicts affect the entire series, which affect other books in the series (but not the entire thing), and which affect only RAFAEL.
  • One character is inscrutable, and it’s difficult to get into his POV. As I read through scenes where he was the POV character, I didn’t feel as if I was “inside” the story but that I was seeing everything from a distance. It’s like this particular character doesn’t want me to know his thoughts! I’m not sure why this is, but I don’t think I will use his POV in the next draft anyway. And the reason for that is…
  • I have way too many POV characters. Most of the time, I try to stick with two (or three at the very most), but for some reason, I was compelled to get into six different characters’ POVs. All the bouncing back and forth got confusing, even for me… and I couldn’t see a reason to be in all those characters’ heads.
  • Too much telling, not enough showing. This issue probably affects most first drafts, and I find that it’s remedied by line editing, which I’m not doing yet. So I’ll fix this one later.
  • Another, more minor, item that probably every writer deals with: Using certain words way too much. I am addicted to the word “just” (as in I just didn’t tell you rather than He was fair and just), and I also like to append “or something” to the end of characters’ dialogue (e.g., “It looked like he was holding a balloon or something,” she said.).

I’m sure I will find more issues as I continue. It’s so easy to note them, but the real trouble is figuring out what to do to fix them.

Sharing… Not Always Caring

The only social media sites I’m on and use regularly are this blog and Tumblr. But oddly enough, every time something vaguely interesting happens to me or I come up with a witty statement, I have the intense temptation to publish it online or share it with someone, even if it’s something that nobody other than me would really care about. However, I am successful in avoiding this temptation about 90% of the time. The other 10% results in the blog posts you see here and pictures of cats (and other fluffy animals) on Tumblr.

Somehow, I have found more satisfaction in keeping things to myself than in sharing them, although I’m not completely sure why this is. Perhaps once something is published online, I start to see my words through others’ eyes, and that can result in embarrassment and horror at the thought that even if I delete it, it’s still technically “there.” It could also be because I have avoided flooding everyone’s feed and dashboard with yet another pointless rant. Or maybe it’s because by not saying as much online, I’m being more true to my offline self, who rarely says more than three words in public.

No matter what the reason is, I’m glad that I manage to resist temptation most of the time.

Breaking Dawn

PLEASE NOTE: This post contains spoilers (although I’m not sure how much there is left to be spoiled since everyone’s probably already seen/read it).

This isn’t something to be particularly proud of, but I have now seen the entire Twilight saga. All five movies. If by some odd chance, you are not familiar with Twilight, it’s basically a YA paranormal romance (with a little action and horror here and there) about a girl who is caught in a love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf.

My friend became obsessed with Twilight, so we naturally had to watch all the movies, which were just as sappy and disbelief-suspending as the books. (I only read the first two books and got disgusted about halfway through the third.) The special effects were lackluster, but what really irritated me (and I have no idea whether this happened in the book) was that at the very end of the last movie (Breaking Dawn – Part II), there was an awesome battle scene between two rival factions of vampires. A few key characters died during this scene, and when the battle ended, it turned out that the whole skirmish hadn’t happened at all. It was only a prophecy of what would have happened had the main villain (Aro) decided to fight instead of come to a peaceful agreement.

Other than the horribly disappointing ending, the story itself wasn’t all that bad. I don’t think it was handled well as a movie series because books are always better than movies, but in the case of Twilight, the books weren’t that great to begin with. I suppose that the story would have been better off in the hands of a more talented writer, or maybe even an epic fantasy writer who could have expanded on the world of vampires and werewolves that Meyer created.