Quote of the Week

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Don't Get It

I have yet to understand why it's so complicated for employers to work with students.  This is the second time I've been told that "it's just not working."  It wasn't said in exactly those same words this time, but it was essentially the same.  Because I refuse to dwell on the fact that I've lost my job again because I'm a faithful student and school will come first until I'm done, I'm not going to talk any more about my job.  Instead, I'm going to focus on the fact that now I have a lot of time to get some reading and writing done.  And, honestly, those are the areas of my life that I seem to be succeeding in.
Right now I'm a supplemental instructor for one of my professors in the technical writing department and I never expected that I would get such an amazing experience.  Apparently someone has seen that I can do something that is worth while and I get great data to put on my resume.  I think someone's just trying to tell me something.  And I think that something is the same something that I thought when I lost my job the last time.  "You need to write."  So, that's what I'm going to do with this free time I've got.  I'm going to write!
For all of you out there to suffer with the pressures of trying to be a good student and then getting no money to be one... I dedicate this post to you.  Sometimes life sucks, but it will be sweet in the end.  I know that an education is worth more than most of the jobs we have trying to earn one and I hope the best for all of you. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Be Ugly, Not a Bubble Head

The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

Yesterday, my friend, Selina, asked if I had read the Uglies series.  Because I have and really enjoyed them, I thought I would do a post about them.  I read this series (all three books) in five days.  (Notice there are four.)  They were an entirely new twist on the dystopian world.

In this series everyone starts out "Ugly."  This is when everyone goes to school and learns about life and about the society they need to know... or, of course, what governmental powers want everyone to know about life and society.  I believe it's the age of 16 that each person becomes "Pretty" and they get to move to the house where everyone has a good time and everyone is "Pretty."  Never again do they have to associate with the little "Uglies."

Tally can't wait to become pretty and has watched many of her friends and people older than her turn pretty.  Though it's a series of plastic surgeries, she can't wait.  As an "Ugly" (meaning she's simply natural and real) she's treated as more of an outcast than the "pretties" seem to be treated.  One day she meets a girl named Shay.  She has an entirely new outlook on life and may be the only person Tally knows who doesn't want to be pretty.  Is "pretty" all it's supposed to be?  or are there secrets and mysteries she must solve before she can decide what she really wants?

You might notice that there are four books rather than the three I talked about above.  Extras is also good but it's about a different character.  It's the same type of society but it takes place on the other side of the globe.  I read it about a year later and understood everything just fine.  And check out the beautiful new cover art for Specials and Extras!

This is a fun series and one that I tend to think about quite often.  It made me think about what real beauty really is and the pressures of "doing what's right."  Hope you enjoy!  Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Biographically Speaking

So, I signed up for a biographical writing class this semester because I'm primarily a fiction writer and love stories about people and those who overcome their struggles and what not.  I thought biographical writing would be the best way to continue on about learning the "realness" of people and that would in turn help me craft fictional characters.  I don't know how anyone does it!  Biographical writing is hard.  The pressure to find the very essence of an actual person is stressful.  Fiction writing is so much easier because you're actually creating the person in your mind and then letting it flow out onto the page.  In biographical writing the person is already created, and it's not someone that you created.  You might know their thoughts and dreams and feelings but to put those on a page in your words instead of theirs is not as easy as I thought it would be.  Should've taken poetry.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Personal Narrative

I started out with this personal narrative for my biographical writing class and I was quite happy with the introduction.  As it went on it really fell flat.  Unfortunately, I found myself unable to keep up with the style and I'm not quite sure why.  Nevertheless, I've decided to share a little piece of it here with you.

I remember brown, orange, wet.  I remember the dirt, the mud on their feet and under their nails.  Their dark skin and children without shoes.  The tarp that was blue, rabbits and chickens meant for dinner.  I still hear the language I didn’t understand and the words that I did.  Our white skin we thought was tan dipping into the muddy wet that would make a brick.  Clumsy pale hands attempting to smooth the mold and the brown steady fingers quick to do the work.  The work we thought would be easy.  I remember my hesitation, my fear, my badge that said I was there to help.  Trying to hide my tears when only two of us squeezed into the hut meant for four.  Averting my eyes when I realized I was staring.  I remember the village I saw later: square, brown, dry.