I love playing the game, “If you were a literary character, who would you be?” Sometimes when I think about it, I get the same feeling as I do when I give gifts. That feeling of, “Ah yes, this comparison is IT,” and until I get that feeling, I keep thinking, “Eeeehhhh.. that’s not it.”
So a few friends of mine and I started talking about it. The Risable Rambler started it, and then the Dinky Bird and Me and another friend and I got into it. We shortly all agreed that Risabella is Jo March from Little Women. After much discussion, we eventually concluded that our other friend was Miranda from The Tempest (after considering Kanga from Winnie the Pooh, Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, Viola from Twelfth Night, amongst others), and I insisted that Dinky Bird and Me is either Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility or Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. I’m thinking Marianne just works for her (the other choices for her are Galadriel and Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, or Jane Eyre).
Who did they insist I am?
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So a friend of mine, The Risabella Rambler, recently posted this post, “Adulthood Is Stupid,” which details all the reasons why children really shouldn’t want to grow up. And everything she says is all very true. Everything that we wanted to have as children that only adults get isn’t as free, or as fun, as we wanted it to be.
However, my life isn’t as bad as it should be, per my friend. I like my job and my co-workers, my rent is allowing me to pay for stuff, and my life is actually coming together quite nicely. I may not have an active social life, but I go out when I want to go out and stay in when I want to stay in. Sure, I’d like to be able to travel, but I have friends who wait and save up for travel opportunities, and I can work with that. And while the world is going to pots around our ears, it’s kind of been doing that since day 1, so I’m not particularly worried about anything, unless it suddenly stops going to pots. Which I think would be more worrying than everything else. Everything is pretty ok for me.
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I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. A lot. It’s a great way to keep track of what’s going on on tumblr without actually getting a tumblr—because honestly, if I had a tumblr, all forms of real social interaction would virtually disappear. And I see a lot of posts about people wishing that this story or that movie isn’t all about this love interest or that love triangle. And I get that. I do. But honestly? I don’t wish that. What I wish is that there were more real love stories out there. I wish that the action movies wouldn’t belittle the love story by making it a 2-second, here’s-your-cursory-love-story-are-you-satisfied-now addition. And I wish that the “real” love stories weren’t these sappy, wishy-washy, empty stories that claim to be about love.
If the Greatest Story Ever Told is basically a love story, doesn’t that justify us spending more of our time fleshing out real ones?
Then by all means, create an epic adventure tale that, at its core, hinges on the love one person holds for another, whether filial, philial, or romantic. And that just gave me a great idea!
“What do you want for ….?”
Birthdays, Christmas. Any holiday that involves gifts, you’ll usually run into this question. And despite the fact that you’ve spent the entire year going, “Oh, I like that, I should ask for it for Christmas/my birthday,” you’ll probably have no idea what to say in response to the question.
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Have you ever noticed that there are universals in life? There are things that are true of every human being at any given time. For instance, I can say that, without a doubt, every one who reads this (which, to be honest, is probably only going to be about 5 people, but anyway…) is alive in some form or another (whether you call what you do living does not change the fact that you are alive).
And that’s one of the things I love about literature. No matter how weird, how bizarre, how off the wall the story is, there are ubiquitous qualities to it that we can all relate to. It is the writer’s job to figure out which ubiquitous qualities he wants to speak to. And that is, perhaps, the hardest job. How do you communicate to everyone simultaneously? What common ground is everyone interested in, from 10-year-olds to 100-year-olds?
That’s why we all love a good love story. After all, the oldest and greatest story ever told is a love story. Don’t like romance? How about siblings? Best friends? Parent child? Distant relatives of an undefined nature?
Love is probably the most complicated of all human universals, because it has so many variants. Which automatically makes it the best foundation for any story. You can take a love story anywhere, do anything with it. Kind of inspiring, isn’t it?
Some might say I wasn’t born with a serious bone in my body. I would disagree. I have many serious bones, but they’re all buried so deeply that sometimes, I don’t even know where to find them. I’ve found one of them recently. And since I’m learning about openness and honesty, I’ll share it with you. This is one of my deepest, darkest fears. But I think it’s kind of a universal fear. One little four letter word: love.
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