MUSIC MONDAY: “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron

TITLE: “The Night We Met”Related image
SINGER: Lord Huron
SONGWRITERS: Ben Schneider
ALBUM: Strange Trails
GENRE: Indie Rock | Indie Alternative
LENGTH: 3:28 minutes
LINKS: The Night We Met – Audio | The Night We Met – Lyric Video
MUSIC BOOK TIE-IN: The song was featured in the TV adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and in the case I have read the book numerous times and have watched the first and second season of the show. Continue reading

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5 Real Reasons Why I Buy Books

As much as I enjoy going to the library and checking out books for free, I also enjoy buying books to keep them for myself. Call me selfish if you want, but it’s nice to have books at my disposal instead of having to drive to the library for a book or two. But there are five major reasons why I buy them, and it’s not just the comforting feeling they bring me.

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Writing Poetry for Class – “My Only Light”

I don’t consider myself a poet, never have, never will be, and I’ll even be the first to admit that I completely suck at it. But, this past month I was taking a summer class on creative writing, which unfortunately (or fortunately) required me to write a couple of poems. I’m still no expert and according to my professor, my poetry could be better, which

I’m not disputing that my poetry needs work, but I am disputing that her feedback is lame. She said, “the literal situation needs to be clear” and that I should “”avoid language that is not concrete as in ‘hope in his eyes,’ “. Also, that I should “Think about whether you are, in fact, creating images.”

Normally, I love constructive criticism on my writing because I believe it will make me a better writer. However, this really rubbed me the wrong way because after so many years of reading poems in school as well as my own ventures, I couldn’t believe this was my feedback. 1) Because I’ve seen so many poems that are so vague they’re incomprehensible 2) I thought poetry was about playing with words and breaking the rules, simply because you can, and 3) All I was thinking about was imagery. More than anything, I think poetry, and all literature is about expression and evoking emotions.

Perhaps, she’s right, after all, she’s the professor and I’m the student writing bad poetry. However, I can’t shake this feeling that in this case, I’m not wrong, and that maybe her feedback is just B.S.

The following poem is one of the pieces I wrote for class and the only one I’m willing to share because. It’s not the original, and while it’s not the same one I submitted, it’s the version I liked best.


“My Only Light” by Saily Marrero

The sea glistened like his forehead
Slick, salty, and sweaty,
But with a hope in his eyes
Hotter than the sun above.

And my tearless tears;
Barren, hungry, and thirsty.
I grew desperate,
But that wasn’t new.

An entire lifetime on that island
Showed me nothing but needs,
And wants,
And only one viable option.

So we fled at night
In a sea of stars;
A pinpricked darkness,
Swallowing us whole.

With Esperanza in my arms
In 90 miles of darkness
She was my only light
The only light I saw.

 

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MUSIC MONDAY: “Wish That You Were Here” by Florence + The Machine

This is something I’ve been wanting to do on this blog for a while. I tend to talk about books, movies, and shows because they are narratives and I feel comfortable enough to review them and give my opinions on them. However, I can’t seem to do the same with music because I don’t know much about it other than knowing that I like listening to some songs more than others.

I am not a musical person, I don’t play instruments, and I cannot sing or keep a tune to save my life, but I do like listening to it. But, I am a reader and I love to listen and read the lyrics to songs. This is where the English major in me comes into play, because I love looking at lyrics and deciphering what they mean. It’s a lot like reading a poem, except you have a melody to accompanying it.

Anyway, this is a new feature I wanted to add to my blog. A couple of times a month, or whenever I can’t stop thinking about a song, I’ll post a lyric with my own interepretation of what that song means. I’ll probably be wrong, but I can’t wait to see what you guys think.

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3 Ways to Listen to Free Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a godsend! They are the solution to all those times you want to be reading but cannot.

Have a long drive ahead of you but you need to know what happens next in the book? Listen to the audiobook.

Can’t decide if showering is more important than reading your book? Listen to the audiobook while showering.

Need to catch up on your school reading by the end of the day? Listen to the audiobook all day until you do catch up.

There’s no book reading problem that an audiobook won’t solve. I’ve been using them for a while now and it has been life changing. However, I don’t actually buy any of them. Instead, I have magical ways of listening to them for free.

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Ok, not really, but as a person who loves free stuff and great deals, I’ve made it my life’s mission to find them. Continue reading

Reliability in Fiction, Is it Important?

I’ve taken several speculative fiction literature classes, aka science fiction and fantasy, and in all those classes the issue of the narrator’s reliability is a discussion point that seems to comes up quite regularly. And quite frankly, I am tired of having the same discussion over and over again but with different titles, authors, and narrators. Here’s the thing, the narrator’s reliability is not important. What is important are the effects of the so called narrator’s reliability.

Choosing to discuss a fictional character’s reliability is ultimately useless for a couple of reasons, number one being that they are fictional and therefore do not exist. 

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I know, blasphemy, but let’s be real for a moment. This is like discussing what hurts more, child birth or being kicked in the balls, no one is ever going to know the answer to this. The point is, they both hurt. I’m not saying we should completely disregard the importance of a narrator’s reliability, but perhaps we should focus more on the effects of their narrating rather than questioning if we should believe them or not.

I recently read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and the narrator is one the most unreliable person I’ve read, especially because he chooses to believe Billy Pilgrim’s alien abduction and time travel claims. However, looking at the novel as a whole, it doesn’t matter if we believe he was really abducted or if he got all those ideas from reading science fiction novels, because what really matters are his experiences in the war, and more importantly, what came after. Their unreliability does not take away from the central message of this book, it adds to it.

Questioning their sanity however does take away from our understanding what Vonnegut intended, an anti-war novel. Whether or not he is telling the truth, Billy Pilgrim’s story will remain a war story, with aliens or without them. It’s a story about coping with death,  coping with a war’s aftermath, and coping with PTSD (although that was not in the DSM yet). That’s what is important in this novel.

Another reason why I don’t see the importance of a narrator’s authenticity is because viewpoints, if done right, are completely tied to the character’s background and personality (like real people) therefore, it is completely subjective. I thought of this the other night when I read a review of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (I’m amazed at my ability to mention this book all the time), where the reviewer was skeptical of Kellen and Wavy’s reliability in telling their story, and it drove me crazy because:

 

  1. I don’t see how that matters in the story.
  2. Their narrating is entirely subjective because of who they are.

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Their storytelling is completely compromised by their background, or at least the lives Bryn Greenwood created for these characters. Wavy and Kellen’s lives are full of abuse, neglect, and come from troubled homes, all of which contribute to the way they look at the world. We, as people, shouldn’t expect others to see the world exactly as we do, so we shouldn’t expect it from the books we read either. Everyone has a different upbringing and experiences which undoubtedly shape the way one looks at the world, but it does not mean they are wrong though.

So instead of questioning the truth in fictional novels, which we know are already fake (it says it in the genre), we should leave the questioning objective narrators for non-fiction books who are the ones to claim they are telling us the truth.

So what do you think? Am I completely wrong? Do you think reliable character are important? Let me know in the comments! 

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Ship It or Rip It #2

In case you’ve forgotten how to play the game here are the rules:

  1. Write down an even number of character names from books, movies, tv shows, on pieces of paper or on an online randomized generator (I guess you can include real life people too).
  2. Fold the pieces of paper if you’re using paper.
  3. Scramble them or shuffle the pieces of paper.
  4. Pick out two names.
  5. Decide if you SHIP the chosen pairing or RIP the pairing.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you’re all out of names.

Here we go! Continue reading