The Amber Spyglass (Pause for Now)

NO SPOILERS FOR THE AMBER SPYLGASS, PROMISE!

p. 248, just halfway. But self was immersed in a wonderful piece of Amber Spyglass fan fiction (and there are very few of those. At least, when compared to Hunger Games. There are six times as many Hunger Games fan fics than there are Amber Spyglass fan fics — of any ship.) Anyhoo, self was enjoying the fan fic hugely until she landed on a chapter where the writer quotes the end of The Amber Spyglass. And — self knows the end already because Twitter is an undisciplined space. But she didn’t expect it to go down like that. It was so awful. Seeing as how she found the ending of The Subtle Knife excruciating, she knew she wasn’t strong enough for the end of The Amber Spyglass. Exhibit A: She put off reading the last 50 pages of The Hunger Games for two years, until the movies started coming out, because she was so sure Peeta would die. But then a niece looked self straight in the eyes and said, “Peeta makes it.”

Oh. He DOES?

Screech!

Self returned home, read the last 50 pages of The Hunger Games, went to the local bookstore, bought Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and binge-read.

So, alas, farewell for now, His Dark Materials, and on to . . .  Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, which has zero angst.

The edition self checked out of the Redwood City Library has a neat little intro — Stevenson’s essay, “My First Book.” She’s actually been dipping into it off and on, the past few days. Here’s an excerpt:

I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and find it hard to believe. The names, the shapes of the woodlands, the courses of the roads and rivers, the prehistoric footsteps of man, still distinctly traceable up hill and down dale, the mills and the ruins, the ponds and the ferries, perhaps the Standing Stone or the Druidic Circle on the heath; here is an inexhaustible fund of interest for any man with eyes to see or twopence worth of imagination to understand with!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amwritinghorror: More of “The Rorqual”

27 pages!

He felt uneasy and decided to call in his position:

Mocking-bird O for Orange, Mocking-bird O for Orange.

His heart jumped unsteadily while he waited for the response. Finally, there was a burst of static followed by a tinn-y, echoing voice saying, “Oh Joshua, thank God, you’re going to make it — “

“Hello,” Joshua practically screamed. “Hello, I’m at — “

(Don’t know if that call sign is too laughable. Self is a huge Hunger Games fan, and Orange is the baker’s favorite color)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amwritingfantasy: Year 2118

The first Hunger Games movie is on the telly.

What self notices right away is that Jennifer Lawrence’s face is so expressive. Every time the camera moves in for a close-up, her emotion is right there.

Hope Hollywood doesn’t ruin her.

She’ll always and forever be, for self: the young woman in Winter’s Bone, and Katniss.

In the meantime, self worked a bit more on the new story she started in Cork, a few days ago (In honor of NaNoWriMo, of course she is writing short stories. She’s letting her rebel flag fly free!):

  • The budget crisis has impacted everyone in my line of work, most particularly transporters. There were 51 of us at last count. The only one I’ve met personally is Hector. He lives or lived in Cienfuegos. There were a couple of freelancers working in his area and I don’t know if he had help or how he handled them. Last year I got an assignment to transport from Isla de la Juventud. Isn’t that Hector’s area, I nearly said, before I realized I didn’t want to know.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Everlark: Once, in a Cabin Deep in a Forest . . .

. . . there lived a widowed coal miner with 12 children. And these twelve children were:

  • Gloss
  • Darius
  • Finnick
  • Thom
  • Marvel
  • Cato
  • Johanna
  • Glimmer
  • Delly
  • Madge
  • Primrose
  • Katniss

Gloss, Cato, Glimmer, Delly, Madge and Primrose were “fair-haired with cerulean eyes and porcelain, milk-colored skin . . .  Darius and Finnick were the handsome gingers” and Thom, Marvel, Johanna and Katniss were “dark-haired” and “olive-toned.”

One day, the miner is informed that his in-laws have bequeathed him an apothecary but he must travel in person to District Four to claim it.

So the miner took leave of his 12 children and promised to bring them back gifts from Four, and the children asked for:

  • jewels
  • shoes
  • dresses
  • fancy shields

But Katniss asked only for a single white rose.

The miner did not yet know that to get this rose, he would have to go to an “enchanted castle” where “a hijacked prince” held on to the rose for dear life.

How self loves Everlarkian fairy tales. This one’s by author PeetasandHerondales.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vanity Fair 2016 Holiday Issue: J-Law (Self Bought the Issue Just Because It Was Her)

She’s still Katniss. To thousands of tumblr followers.

With Trump’s win, there’s been a boom in dystopian Hunger Games fan fiction. A site went off-line today for a mere two hours. Self nearly had a meltdown.

Despite everyone hating Darren Aronofsky and semi-hating Passengers (Yes, the problem is no one knows whether it’s a rom-com or a space movie. Least of all Lionsgate), she’s the only actress the Guardian’s ever called “America’s national treasure.”

Vanity Fair has her on the cover of its 2016 Holiday issue. She’s not glammed up. She looks real. Self likes it so much better than the other Vanity Fair cover, the one where she was sitting in a jungle pool. It didn’t look like her.

The pictures inside the issue, especially the black-and-whites of her in an Alberta Ferretti dress: HAWWTTTT!!! Kudos to photographer Peter Lindbergh.

And, she is still a risk-taker. She’ll agree to do a movie just to get a chance to work with a particular director, even without seeing a script. That’s so completely her: impetuous, and NOT image-driven.

Julie Miller’s cover article begins:

  • The bar of the Plaza Athénée, an elegant Upper East Side hotel, is empty save for an elderly French couple sipping Bordeaux at two p.m. when in bursts a tall blonde crackling with energy. It is Jennifer Lawrence, wearing a black cashmere sweater, jeans ripped at the knee, and black boots, her platinum hair chopped into a chic bob. Delicate gold jewelry circles her wrists, neck, and fingers, and her most pronounced accessory, a security team, looms nearby.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Everlarkian Feelz 2

Instead of the Hunger Games we have a hotly contested election for the presidency of Panem.

One of the candidates for President is Alma Coin. Her slogan: 24 YEARS OF PEACE. 24 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. SUPPORT PRESIDENT COIN.

Among her achievements: “She continued the availability of tesserae within the poorest districts of Panem, including District 12, up to six times a year for residents who qualified.”

Mayor Undersee is welcoming candidate Coin to 12 with a themed banquet, “Taste of District 12.”

Unbenknownst to almost everyone in 12, Katniss and Peeta have been exchanging clandestine kisses in the janitor’s closet of the local school.

How are all of these threads connected? You would know if you read fan fiction.

Stay tuned.

 

More Weight(less)

Self is not sure she’s fully getting this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, but anyhoo.

For this post, she will focus on things that have “an air of weightlessness.” Here’s a picture of three lamps hanging over a dining table in a friend’s apartment:

DSCN1332

Weightless: Hanging Lamps

Next, Jennifer Lawrence’s costume for Hunger Games: Catching Fire:

DSCN1038

A Wedding Dress for the Mockingjay

Finally, waterfowl, St. Stephens Green, Dublin:

DSCN0506

St. Stephens Green, Dublin, Summer 2015

Glass and feathers, both project a feeling of lightness and weightlessness.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Further From the Latest Chapter of Self’s Hunger Games Fan Fiction

Self loves fan fiction. Especially, right now, Katniss Everdeen, Demon Hunter. Yaaaas!

Katniss is 500 years old (but, obviously, doesn’t look it). She’s on a quest to kill every last demon on the face of the Earth.

Peeta is a Demon. Ooops!

Katniss has a magic bow that vibrates when Demons are near. But with Peeta, it never vibrates. Never. So, several times, he’s slipped through Katniss’s fingers. She chases after him, over the rooftops of Manhattan. Then she ends up in Hoboken, New Jersey, where . . . there is the best Cuban restaurant in the whole United States, lol. Self is going there, if she can just manage to get on the correct PATH train.

In the meantime, here is a further scene from the latest chapter of self’s Hunger Games fan fiction. She loves this chapter so much, she can’t bear to write anything else. It’s been two weeks, what can she say? She used Haruki Murakami as her inspiration.

“Enough!” Snow says. “I know all about the rebellion Mr. Odair’s been planning. For years, it seems. And since you and he are the best of friends, I thought most likely you were in on it, eh? He wouldn’t leave you dangling in the dark all this time, would he? Especially after he found out how badly you wanted to return to your family business — that preposterous bakery in 12! Like I’d fall for that stupid drama. You underestimate me, my dear Victor.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being a baker. You make it sound like it’s some sort of — disease,” Peeta says.

“Ha! Ever the silver tongue,” Snow barks. “From you, I would expect nothing less. Let me see: between your not knowing and your knowing, I’m rather inclined towards the latter.”

Peeta swallows. “Finnick’s a friend. Nothing more.”

“Pardon me if I find that rather hard to believe,” Snow says.

“He’s all talk, if you know what I mean,” Peeta says. “There was no rebellion.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.

Sweetness/ Fan Fiction/ Café Irreal

Self is reading something based on a fairy tale.  It’s really sweet, Hunger Games AU, based on the tale “East of the Sun & West of the Moon.”

Peeta whisks Katniss away from her house in District 12, in a broad heavy sleigh, and they arrive in a house at the edge of a lake.  It’s enchanted, like all good houses should be.

It’s really clever, how elements of the fairy tale are woven in, such as in this description:

“. . .   it isn’t the ancient palace from my dream, with its high stone walls and dusty rooms, filled with silence and nameless fears.  I didn’t ride here on the back of a white bear . . . “

The two are tended by Avoxes, which is another thing that fits in with the sense of unreality.

*     *     *     *

On August 1, a fable of self’s is going live on Café Irreal.  It’ll be her second story in the magazine.  Her first, which appeared a few years ago, was a flash fiction called “Appetites.”

Here’s an excerpt from the story soon to be posted, called “The Secret Room”:

One day, during a fox hunt, her husband fell from his horse and broke a leg.  His squires carried him into the castle.  A monk came with healing herbs and made a poultice.  A surgeon set the bone.  But in spite of everyone’s best efforts, the King continued to scream with pain.  For days everyone in the castle was frozen by the sound of his shrieks.

There you go.  Even when writing fables, self always heads straight for “dark.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

DIVERGENT, Chapter 5: The Choosing Ceremony

Self spent last night bawling — literally  bawling — over Hunger Games fanfiction.

In one fanfiction, Katniss is a maid in the well-off Mellark household.  In another, she is hired by Peeta’s father to help out in the bakery.  In others, Peeta is King Peeta and Katniss is a winsome country lass.  Self doesn’t like these fairy tale ones as much as the others, but sometimes self needs to read something relaxing, and it’s always a kick to imagine J-Hutch wearing a kingly crown. In all of the fanfiction, the socio-economic status reflects that of the characters in Suzanne Collins’s trilogy:  Katniss = poor.  Peeta = well-off.  Stage set for melodrama of the highest order.

And now to Divergent, Chapter 5.

The heroine, Beatrice, and her brother, Caleb, belong to the Abnegation faction (a very irritating faction, don’t ask).  But now they get to choose whether to stay in Abnegation or go to some other faction that’s a better fit for their skills and personality.

Usually the teens who are choosing opt to stay with their families’ factions.  In the case of Beatrice and Caleb, that would mean Abnegation.

A boy from Dauntless goes to the center of the room and makes his choice:  Candor.

His blood falls onto glass, and he is the first of us to switch factions.  The first faction transfer.  A mutter rises from the Dauntless section, and I stare at the floor.

They will see him as a traitor from now on.  His Dauntless family will have the option of visiting him in his new faction, a week and a half from now on Visiting Day, but they won’t, because he left them.  His absence will haunt their hallways, and he will be a space they can’t fill.  And then time will pass, and the hole will be gone, like when an organ is removed, and the body’s fluids flow into the space it leaves.  Humans can’t tolerate emptiness for long.

Wow, self loves the writing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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