In Which My Procrastination Reaches Worrying New Heights

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Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. You see, I decided to buckle down on serious writing a few months ago, so I promised myself I wouldn’t blog about anything until I finished a complete manuscript. The bright side: I wrote sixty-four thousand words thus far. The not-so-bright side: I hit a wall. A big, ugly, brick wall that I have not been able to chisel my way through.

(Is that an overused metaphor? I feel like it is.)

So I came back to the same mistake I always make: I switched to another project.

I’ve found that the hardest part of a novel is not the beginning, or the end, or even the middle. The hardest part is that area before the climax, where everything has to be set up just right. Beginnings, meanwhile, are nice and easy. That’s the part where the readers have no idea what to expect, so you could just throw shit at them and they won’t even mind as long as it’s interesting.

To be fair to myself, at least this time the project I switched to was the sequel, instead of some unrelated story about identical twins selling gum, or about a group of kids who go back in time and are chased by evil time-travelling mercenaries with flimsy motives.

Anyway, here are some things I’ve been doing so far this summer, in my pursuit of not writing:

  • I signed up for the premium option on WordPress. It may be a waste of money, or it may not, but hey, I can get a full refund within the next twenty-nine days. So here’s hoping I don’t forget.
  • I switched the theme of this blog again. What does everyone think? I like it, but there’s no way to put in a side-bar. If someone wants to read an old post of mine, how will they find it? I’ll try and figure that out. 
  • I’m back at McDonald’s again, mainly working the late nights. I’ve been doing a lot of 7 PM to 3 AM shifts, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, after seven  o’clock is where you get the most freedom at the job; you could snag all the fries you want and no one will care. But on the other hand, I do hate going to bed past three and waking up around noon every day. But on my third, grossly deformed hand: the seven to three shift goes by much faster than any other shift, because there’s so much to do and less people to do it. That sounds like a negative but it’s not. The more there is to do, the faster time flies.
  • I started watching American Gods, which has been amazing so far. I remember hearing that the show would go on for five seasons and I thought, “how could they stretch out one book for that long?” but it turns out I’m a fool for questioning the writers, because they’ve done a terrific job. 10/10, would watch again.
  • I also got into It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which is kind of like Seinfeld, in that it follows a group of self-centered assholes who never learn from their mistakes. It’s hysterical, but Danny DeVito hasn’t even shown up yet. Where is he? I was told he’d be here.

Anyway, hello again, and thank you to those who’ve stuck around all these years. You’re the best. I know I haven’t been the most consistent blogger, but I do hope to get back into the swing of things here. At the very least, I hope you enjoy it while it lasts.

My Top 10 Favorite Novels: Part 2

You can read the first part of this post right here.

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5: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

This book would be ranked lower on this list if it weren’t for the fact that I had to constantly analyze the living hell out of the book in English class. This book serves as a lesson to those annoying stupid parents who try to ban books like The Shawshank Redemption and Looking for Alaska from schools, so their innocent teenage children will never ever ever find out about curse words or *insert gasp here* sex.

Also, the writing in this novel is top notch: “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. ” 

Was that line not hauntingly beautiful? Did you not shed a heart-shaped tear? Because I did.

Also, I love how the book’s available as an ebook. I bet Bradbury would love that.

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4: Paper Towns, by John Green

I’ve said far too much about this book already, so here’s a link to my post ranking the John Green books.

I think this book would make a great romantic comedy. Anyone else? No? Okay…

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3: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.

Before reading this book, I read a review where the guy compared Gaiman’s writing to candy (I even tweeted about it!), and that’s what I was thinking about as I read the first fifty pages. Then I got so deep into the book that my brain refused to think about anything else until I finished it.

The only (small) problem I had with this book was that the main character was too calm. While most people would be freaking out, he’d just shrug it off, thinking, “Oh, my dead wife came back to life and visits me in the middle of the night. That’s new.” But that’s just a small quibble, and his reaction, or lack thereof, was perfectly in character for Shadow.

this is the version I have

2: The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition, by Stephen King

This was the book that got me into reading again. There’s probably some parallel universe out there in which I didn’t bother to read this book. In it, I probably turned out to be the type of person who prefers the movie over the book, listens to Lil’ Wayne and gets tattoos saying “SWAG ATTACK: 2012.” Luckily, we don’t live in that universe, so we don’t have to deal with that loser.

At over 1,100 pages (and keep in mind, there’s over 500 words on each page in my edition), this might just be the longest book I’ve ever read. Sure, a lot of things could have been cut out, but this is the uncut edition, so I can’t criticize it for that. The ending was a bit disappointing, but that didn’t matter since the first thousand pages were some of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever read.

Before I read this, the most three dimensional and well-written characters I’ve ever read were the characters in the Harry Potter series. But Harry, Ron and Hermione look like cardboard cut-outs compared to any of the characters in this book, and I don’t say that lightly. For the first time in my reading endeavors I felt as if I’ve known the characters in a book my entire life.

If you were to read any Stephen King book, it should be this one. Or The Shining. That book’s cool too.

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1: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

This book is the saddest book of all time, and I mean that in the best way possible. To those who thought The Fault in Our Stars was heartbreaking, wait till you get a load of this book.

This is one of the great pieces of art (that’s right; this book is art) where each scene and each character is memorable. Stephen King may be great at creating vivid characters, but he will never be able to make me care about them as much as I care about the characters in this.

They’re making a movie based off this book, and from the trailer, I’m not sure what to think. Though the actors/actresses mostly fit how I pictured them, the trailer comes off as way too happy for me, and the American voice-over just made it seem cheesy. Tell me what you think.

Sorry for any typos in this post. For some reason, no matter how hard I proofread, I only notice the giant typos after I publish the post.