The Friday Four: Solitude and Loneliness

1. This is the Periodic Table of the Figures of Speech, a beautiful tool you can use to add flavor to your writing. I haven’t heard the names of most of these terms since college!

2. I was thinking about how “solitude” is perceived as a positive thing, while “loneliness” is perceived as a negative. Going to a movie by yourself or going to a restaurant by yourself might be something you consider an activity you do in solitude, but another person might see you by yourself and think, Look at that person all by himself… he must be so lonely. And perhaps they feel sorry for you, when in reality, you’re perfectly happy by yourself. Strange.

3. To me, one of the hardest things about being Catholic is going to confession, mostly because I am disinclined to talk about my problems in general, let alone with a priest, who doesn’t know me as well as other people with whom I might be inclined to talk about problems. But when I went to the penance service, I saw many people who are regulars at Mass and volunteer in different areas of the church. I wondered… what could so-and-so possibly need to confess? What does she possibly do wrong? Then I thought that those people might be thinking the same about me, and I laughed to myself. Confession is a good reminder that we’re all sinners, no matter how “perfect” we may appear on the outside.

4. I am halfway through reading A Clash of Kings (second book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series), and it’s kind of underwhelming. The book is divided into short chapters, each in a different character’s POV. I really would like to skip around to my favorite characters’ POVs, but I would end up missing a lot of the story and getting more confused than I already am. Also, I’m getting tired of the constant references to rape and prostitution. But, for the sake of my favorite characters, I will continue reading the book.

Happy Friday!

Breaking Dawn

PLEASE NOTE: This post contains spoilers (although I’m not sure how much there is left to be spoiled since everyone’s probably already seen/read it).

This isn’t something to be particularly proud of, but I have now seen the entire Twilight saga. All five movies. If by some odd chance, you are not familiar with Twilight, it’s basically a YA paranormal romance (with a little action and horror here and there) about a girl who is caught in a love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf.

My friend became obsessed with Twilight, so we naturally had to watch all the movies, which were just as sappy and disbelief-suspending as the books. (I only read the first two books and got disgusted about halfway through the third.) The special effects were lackluster, but what really irritated me (and I have no idea whether this happened in the book) was that at the very end of the last movie (Breaking Dawn – Part II), there was an awesome battle scene between two rival factions of vampires. A few key characters died during this scene, and when the battle ended, it turned out that the whole skirmish hadn’t happened at all. It was only a prophecy of what would have happened had the main villain (Aro) decided to fight instead of come to a peaceful agreement.

Other than the horribly disappointing ending, the story itself wasn’t all that bad. I don’t think it was handled well as a movie series because books are always better than movies, but in the case of Twilight, the books weren’t that great to begin with. I suppose that the story would have been better off in the hands of a more talented writer, or maybe even an epic fantasy writer who could have expanded on the world of vampires and werewolves that Meyer created.

Winter Is Coming

When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with fantasy novels, especially those containing dragons. But as with any genre, fantasy has its clichés, and after a while, the clichés began to irritate me, and I haven’t been able to enjoy fantasy novels as much as I used to. (Besides, I get all of my books from the library, which often has the first volume of the series and none of the others, which is frustrating. I don’t buy books because I’m not the type of person who reads a book over and over, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.)

So I read A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin) recently, mostly because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I haven’t seen the TV show, and if I do ever watch it, it’ll be after I finish reading the series. On the whole, the book was very good and left off at a point where I really wanted to start reading the second one immediately. Unlike most epic fantasy, it’s fast-paced and the chapters are relatively short, so you’ll be halfway through the book before you know it. What I didn’t like was that there are so many characters that it was difficult to keep track of them; luckily, the book had some family trees in the back, so I wasn’t too confused.

The book also reminded me of a fantasy version of the TV show The White Queen (based on the real life Wars of the Roses), what with all the fighting for the throne, going to war, and the medieval setting. That wasn’t a bad thing at all because it gave the book a realistic premise and made the characters a bit easier to relate to. Another reader might have thought that there was too much bloodshed and drama and sex and rape, but I felt those things were realistic in the brutal world Martin created. (He knows how to torture his characters… in a good way.)

However, there were only a few of the characters whose POVs I enjoyed reading. I was tempted to skim through some of the chapters with characters I disliked, but had I done that, I would have been hopelessly lost in the plot. I guess all I can hope for is that those characters get killed off in the other books in the series, but nine times out of ten, it’s characters I like who end up getting killed. 🙂

Have you read it? What do you think?


On a note that has nothing to do with this post, I will not be posting here for the rest of the week because I’ll be out of state at a conference for work. But I’ll be back on October 13!