Monday, December 24, 2012
I stumbled across this book when I was in that awkward limbo stage for readers. You know that brief period of time where you're in between books and unsure what to read next, or waiting for your next book to arrive in the mail? I was in the first predicament near the end of summer, and my friend decided to let me borrow The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because it's one of her all-time favorites. I admit that it's taken me this long to finally finish it (thanks to school), but it was definitely worth it.
The Night Circus starts of a little slow, due to quite a bit of backstory. The entire situation is intriguing and different: two men waging in some sort of game that involves two of their students. The reader doesn't know what this game is, how it's played, or how someone wins. It was a little frustrating not knowing what the game was until close to the end, but that's what builds most of the suspense and mystery about this story. What part does the circus play? Why doesn't Marco perform? Exactly how are the competitors bound together?
Then there's Poppet, Widget, and Bailey. All of the separate stories throughout the novel that end up entwining together, which is something I always really like in novels. In the end, everything makes sense and you have an even better understanding about how people and events work together and how everything came to be. All of these characters and side stories share a fate together in the end, which is slightly unexpected and definitely satisfying.
Morgenstern creates beautiful scenes and situations when describing the circus and the various tents within it. Her creativity and imagination shine through the short blurbs told through second-person narration, helping the reader imagine experiencing the circus first-hand. Morgenstern describes the circus using every sensory detail possible, to give her audience the full effect as if they were actually walking through the circus and visiting the separate tents.
The Night Circus is filled with imagination, magic, and mystery. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy and suspense novels. The characters grow before your eyes, and the story unfolds with more clarity through every chapter. You'll be rooting for Celia and Marco to beat the game, and save the circus from its ultimate collapse. I'm excited that Summit Entertainment has recently gained the rights for this novel, for the imagination and creativity of this piece would be wonderful seen on the big screen.
What I'm reading next: Beautiful Days by Anna Godberson
Monday, December 3, 2012
I played basketball A LOT when I was younger, so I decided to write a poem about what it's like to be in a game and on a team. Enjoy!
This is where I belong.
I’m engulfed in the game,
from tightening my laces,
to sprinting down the court,
to the the final buzzer.
This is my life.
I focus and visualize
all of my hard work.
Endless days of
sprints, drills, plays.
Grueling practices at
the crack of dawn.
Reviewing with my dad
It all comes down to this.
As I step on the court,
my gaze draws to the ball
like a magnet.
The referee throws it
up in the air.
I leap like the ball
is my last breath.
It all starts now.
Fighting for our lives.
My team works as one.
Without each other,
Nothing else matters.
Muscles on fire
by the final quarter.
Breath, water, audacity:
all needed to live.
Sweat drips down my face
like salty tears,
symbolizing my toil.
Coach’s last words.
It’s time to end this.
Every ounce of effort,
Every pound of will,
Every ton of energy,
is left on the floor.
Nothing is held back.
My fire isn’t extinguished
until the final buzzer.
This is my goal.
This is my life.
It’s a lifestyle.
Beings that I have no inspiration for my own writing topics at the moment, I feel like doing one of these will help spark that desire to start writing again (after all, that’s what this blog is for, right?)
I probably won't end up doing these every single day, especially with finals coming up next week. But I'm definitely going to try and do them during my winter break before my big move to Florida :)
Day 1: Re-write a classic fairy tale.
Day 2: Write a fanfiction.
Day 3: A story that takes place pre-1950.
Day 4: A poem using the words: blue, mistrust, half, twang.
Day 5: A story revolving around an object in your room.
Day 6: Start your story with: “He glanced at his watch impatiently…”
Day 7: Create a superhero. Have he/she save the day.
Day 8: Write a prequel to that Superhero. Pre-Superhero life. Maybe their childhood.
Day 9: A story in 250 words or less about your favorite city.
Day 10: Start story with: “She touched the little box in her pocket and smiled…”
Day 11: A story where the characters go without power for a day.
Day 12: Find 10 random words and create your own definitions.
Day 13: Begin with “I thought I saw…”
Day 14: Randomly find someone in your yearbook. Create a story about their life today.
Day 15: Write about a stranger you see. Either their back-story or what they are thinking in the moment you see them.
Day 16: Go to iTunes, put your music on random. Write a story about the first song that comes up. (250 words or less)
Day 17: Use time travel in a story.
Day 18: A story set in a ghost town.
Day 19: Write an obituary for a historical figure.
Day 20: Use these words in a story: grandfather, photo album, post office, and folder.
Day 21: He or she sees their crush in a library. Describe the incident.
Day 22: Write a story based on a dream you had.
Day 23: Describe/fictionalize a childhood memory.
Day 24: Write a story that takes place 100 years in the future.
Day 25: Write a story about a mythical creature.
Day 26: Write about the 30th picture on your phone or computer. Write about the story behind it, or make up the story behind it.
Day 27: Story taking place during a sporting event (any sport).
Day 28: Story on a ship. Past, present, or future.
Day 29: Story about space.
Day 30: Story or poem about ice.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Okay, I feel like this piece is going to need some explaining. One of my assignments in my creative writing class was to put a character in a unique location and make them a complete fish out of water, and then creative a thought monologue describing five items the character would find. I chose to place a Death Eater (from Harry Potter) in Walmart. I think it's one of the most random and entertaining pieces I've written! Enjoy!
Walmart. Hmm, interesting name for a muggle store. I slowly walked inside while curiously looking around inspecting the unfamiliar territory. Muggles are so strange; their stores are so bright and…boring. Every product is lined up perfectly, matching and correlating to each other in a neat and organized fashion. Where’s the crazy moving stuffed animals? The floating candy? Being a muggle must suck. What a monotonous life without magic.
As I stood near the front door inside, I scanned the area for trolleys to put my supplies. I couldn’t find anything except these strange large baskets labeled “carts” above their storage space. I guess this will have to do.
I began to walk through the aisles, analyzing the different types of food they had to offer. They had a lot of similar foods to the wizarding world, which actually surprised me. Bread, cookies, eggs, the basics. It was disappointing that they didn’t have any pumpkin juice or gillywater, which is one necessity I was looking for in this odd supermarket, but I settled for simple orange juice anyway. At least they still had that.
I moved over to the cleaning supplies, curious to see what kind of tools muggles used since they didn’t have magic to do their chores for them. It was a depressing and hopeless sight: dusters that required manual labor, these suction machines they called “vacuums” used to clean the dirt on the floor, and mops that didn’t create soap and water on their own. One product made me freeze and take a closer look. It was called “Oxiclean.” Apparently this powder-soap type substance removes stains from clothes “like magic!”
“HAH!” I guffawed.
A woman curiously turned to look at me with a puzzled expression on her face, “Excuse me, but may I ask, what’s so funny?”
“Oh, um…” I stumbled for a second trying to think of a convincing story that could be understood by a muggle. “I’ve just…used this brand before, and it never worked as well as the label said.”
She looked at the tub of Oxiclean I pointed to through her spectacles, “Ah yes. That cleaning product is so overrated. Never fully gets my stains out.”
“I know, right?” I agreed as she walked away. As soon as she was out of sight I grabbed the bucket of “magic soap” and put it in my cart. I wanted to see this for myself.
As I sauntered down more walkways, I remembered my daughter Stella’s birthday was approaching. For some reason, buying a muggle toy from a muggle store seemed like an intriguing present for my little girl. I made my way through the clothes (which were absolutely appalling, might I say) and stopped in the toy section. The area filled with girl playthings made my stomach churn; everything was pink. I gingerly inched nearer to the toys and began to search for something Stella might enjoy. What do six-year-old muggle girls enjoy? Probably not the same as a witch, though Stella doesn’t really know how use magic right now, so she should be fine. I thought about the guys and if they saw me right now: a death eater, walking in a muggle store, searching for a birthday gift for his daughter, in an all pink doll-infested aisle way. How embarrassing.
I finally found a giant doll head used for brushing and doing hair. I could easily betwitch it to make it more interesting and colorful. Sneakily, I slowly reached for the box and put it in my cart. Hopefully no one noticed.
These three items seemed to fulfill my quota, so I began to make my way to the cash register. Halfway there, I noticed a spooky section near the home decorations. Above it there was a banner that said “Halloween.” Now this should be interesting.
The shelves were surprisingly filled with some of the standard decorations such as pumpkins, bats, and the like. Of course, they were boring decorations that didn’t convincingly move or do anything except maybe light up on their own or make robotic jerky motions and pathetic fake shrieks for two seconds. The most interesting part was the costumes. Apparently muggle children enjoyed dressing like muggle celebrities, fake characters from books, fairies, vampires…then I came across the most hilarious of them all: wizards. Most of them had tall pointy blue hats, thick beards, and long cloaks. They looked like a comical version of Professor Dumbledore. I had to take one of them home and show the guys, they would find this absolutely hysterical. Just for kicks, I went back to the cleaning section and grabbed a broom. This should really knock their socks off.
Muggles. Such simple, ignorant, entertaining people.
This feeling of uncertainty
aches within my chest,
pressing down on my
We should be okay,
he said we were fine.
You’re over thinking
Tears sting under my eyes.
Refusing to blink,
I press my lips tight
and wear a mask of
Confidence in what?
Is this really worth it
I focus on my book,
reading usually helps.
Not this time.
I collapse on my bed
Like a helpless animal.
My hands start
with what? fear? insecurity?
I don’t know.
Those three words. I hate them.
THE three words.
I love you.
I can't say them.
My heart lurches and thrusts.
Warm tears flow down
my face like summer rain.
I am alone.
I will be alone.
I need to see him.
I need to know
I pull myself together,
put on my mask
and jump in my car.
Maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe I’m off.
Maybe we’re still strong.
I knock on his door
and walk inside.
We both agree.