LANGUAGE: Leviathan Awakes, Ch. 5

Loving the language in Chapter Five of Leviathan Awakes.

The situation is extremely exciting in a way that self’s own novel set in 16th century Philippines can never be (unless she figures out a way to add English pirates to the narrative, which to tell you the truth she has been seriously considering)

The ‘Cant’ is the name of the ship (short for Canterbury, in the long tradition of giving ships connections to heavy literature: Nostromo, Gilgamesh, Canterbury etc).

“Even if we manage it, torpedoes designed to disable the Cant would make us into a greasy stretch of vacuum.”

“All right,” Naomi said. “What else have we got?”

“Nothing. Very smart boys in the naval labs have already thought of everything we are going to think of in the next eight minutes,” Holden said. Saying it out loud meant admitting it to himself.

Right?

Stay tuned.

 

Top World-Building: LEVIATHAN AWAKES

The thing about science fiction is: the worlds couldn’t be more different from each other (She’s read three so far this year: The Goblin Emperor, Children of Time, and this book), yet they each have an intricately detailed universe, and the authors write that world with such conviction. If you’re going to build a world from scratch, you better make sure it’s consistent in every particular. In other words, it takes commitment. And energy. And of course imagination.

Self had started watching The Expanse, that’s why she ordered Leviathan Awakes. After the book arrived in the mail, she decided to stop watching The Expanse because she wanted to form her own ideas about the characters.

Alas, whenever she reads about Miller, the image that immediately pops into her head is Thomas Jane wearing a porkpie hat! Whereas, if she had never watched a single episode, she would have had fun conjuring Miller’s appearance (Not that she has anything against Thomas Jane, who’s a very good actor)

Back to the world-building. On p. 26, Miller eats dinner and has some thoughts:

An hour later, his blood warm with drink, he heated up a bowl of real rice and fake beans — yeast and fungus could mimic anything if you had enough whiskey first — opened the door of his hole, and ate dinner looking out at the traffic gently curving by. The second shift streamed into the tube stations and then out of them. The kids who lived two holes down — a girl of eight and her brother of four — met their father with hugs, squeals, mutual accusations, and tears. The blue ceiling glowed in its reflected light, unchanging, static, reassuring. A sparrow floated down the tunnel, hovering . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: LEVIATHAN AWAKES

Chapter One: Holden

“If we flip the ship right now and burn like hell for most of two days, I can get us within fifty thousand kilometers, sir.”

Four

Some years, self reads by theme. There was the year she read only women authors. Another year, she read only memoir. She remembers the summer she decided to read everything ever written by Henning Mankell (That was a very fun summer)

Last year, hmm, she doesn’t think she had a theme last year. Looking at her reading list for 2020, it’s clear 2020 is the year for reading fiction. Just straight-up good literary fiction.

Self read twelve books so far 2020.

Here were her top reads (arranged in the order in which she read them):

  • January: Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory, by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
  • February: The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
  • February: I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
  • End of March, beginning of April: Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh

She’s currently reading her first Liane Moriarty: Big Little Lies.

She’s hoping to get into the Ruth Galloway detective series. She’s just ordered Book # 1, The Crossing Places.

Even if there were no “shelter in place,” self knows she would still be doing the same things she’s doing right now: reading, writing, watching TV, gardening, cooking, laundry.

Sharing a picture of her Fourth of July rose, just starting to bloom.

DSCN0019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Teaching Kindergarten: The Stress!

“I watch them like a hawk, I really do. Well, I try, but I’ve got twenty-eight kids, two with ADHD, one with learning difficulties, two gifted kids, at least four whose parents think they’re gifted, and one who is so allergic I feel like I should have one hand on the EpiPen at all times and — “

Big Little Lies, p. 270

So far, it’s all about Mothers Club. But self is still here! After 270 pages. Liane Moriarty is quite a storyteller. Self just didn’t expect the novel to be so thoroughly satirical.

There are no boring parts. Even though it’s mostly about THE PARENT TRAP, how parents guilt themselves into trying to provide the ‘perfect’ environment for their kids. (A lot of parents must be reading this book and identifying with the characters here)

Also, for some reason, suburban life in Australia is exactly like suburban life in northern California. Who knew?

There are really only two ‘good’ men. Thankfully, one of them is married to a main character. So we get to read a lot about him.

Stay tuned.

Big Little Lies, p. 163: So Many Balls in the Air!

Self began reading this book right after she read the collected short stories of Ernest Hemingway, how she does not get whiplash, she doesn’t know. Things get even more whiplash-y when she begins the next book on her reading list: Outlander.

P. 163: How is Liane Moriarty going to pull all these threads together? She has the ENTIRE Kindergarten Mommies routine down pat.

But there has to be something about this book MORE than just a satire on Kindergarten Mommies, because it did become a huge US bestseller (Self keeps forgetting it’s NOT set in America: the characters don’t speak Aussie patois. They don’t even curse! Not even the bad ones)

“Where’s Jackie today, Jonathan?” asked Gabrielle. The mothers were all mildly obsessed with Jonathan’s wife, ever since she’d been interviewed on the business segment of the evening news a few nights back, sounding terrifyingly precise and clever about a corporate takeover and putting the journalist in his place. Also, Jonathan was very good-looking in a George Clooney-esque way, so constant references to his wife were necessary to show that they hadn’t noticed this and weren’t flirting with him.”

Too. Funny.

Stay tuned.

Today’s Writing: A Character Named Ta-hum

That same night she grabbed the ensign by the feet and began to drag him out of the hut. The scene had a nightmarish quality. For a few moments, Matias thought he was dreaming.

Also Still Writing, Ho Hey

To date, novel is 102,663 words (Before corona virus shelter in place, it was around 97k, essentially finished, but anyhoo. There shall be a sequel!)

From a scene between the Governor General of the Filipinas and self’s MC, Matias:

The Governor General smiled. “When I had not heard from you, I knew you must have found a way to keep yourself busy.”

They drank until it grew dark and the fireflies began to dance.

Stay tuned.

Still More Letters from the Governor General to His Royal Catholic etc. Majesty Philip II

I have located the site of Fray Escay’s old mission. It was on the southern tip of Isla del Fuego, where a wide river (which the natives inform me, though I do not know whether to believe them, is called the No-Name River) empties into the Philippine Sea. None of the structures remain, except for a ruined tower which seems to have been in recent use.

Over 100k Words, Keep Going

Added a new letter from the Governor General to Philip II (after whom the Philippines was named). Self’s main narrative is stuffed with about two dozen of the most circumlocutious letters!

To His Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty:

The Moros begin their yearly raids. They always coincide with the end of the monsoon.

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