Recovery

I’m so sorry, guys.

I don’t want to make this blog about me, the author, but I do feel you guys are owed an explanation of where I’ve been the last week and counting!

Unfortunately, I had to get all four of my wisdom teeth ripped out of my mouth, and it’s been a long and annoying recovery so far. Between the chipmunk cheeks, pain, and longing for some actual solid food, I haven’t been much in the mood for writing.

I want to thank everyone for sticking around, and for my two Liebster award nominations! I will get to them ASAP. It is also my goal to get a queue of posts running for times like this.

Thanks guys. I hope to be back soon. 🙂

Beautiful Words Online #2: Magical Realism

Magical realism is one of those slippery genres that has found purchase in some fantastic novels, but is perfectly, sublimely suited to the short story. It’s a genre I will discuss later, in depth, but here I hope to give you a bit of an introduction. A short reading list of some of my favorite magical realism out on the web, both recent and aged. Let me know what you think!

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez

The world had been sad since Tuesday. Sea and sky were a single ash-gray thing and the sands of the beach, which on March nights glimmered like powdered light, had become a stew of mud and rotten shellfish.

GGM is widely heralded as the father and master of magical realism. Though commonly displayed in his books, One Hundred Years of Solitude being the most famous, Marquez’s short stories combine romantic moody imagery, folklore, and fantasy elements to great effect. The result is storytelling that feels like gritty realism describing a world you do not recognize. No one else does it quite so well.

Although many thought that his reaction had not been one of rage but of pain, from then on they were careful not to annoy him, because the majority understood that his passivity was not that of a hero taking his ease but that of a cataclysm in repose.

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A Tale for the Time Being

a tale for the time being

Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being is a triumph of voice and mystery that honestly left me reeling as it wound to a close.

A Tale for the Time Being is one of those rare novels that pulls off a tricky form to astounding effect: first person journaling. Half of the novel is told from the point of view of young Nao as she writes in a journal to her Time Being, the chosen person who will find her journal and read it. If that sounds somewhat convoluted, that’s because it is; a combination of childlike imagination and Zen philosophy that works flawlessly. She addresses the other POV character, Ruth, without knowing who she is, and time slips in and out of linearity as Ozeki weaves their two stories together.

Nao begins her journal to tell the story of her anarchist, feminist, ass-kicking Buddhist nun of a great-grandmother, Jiko. This is definitely a tagline that drew me in immediately. However, I wasn’t disappointed when Nao swerved constantly from this goal, chronicling instead the trials of her life and struggles with bullying, her father’s mental illness, and her growing attachment to 104-year-old Jiko and the Buddhist lifestyle.

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Exhaustion!

Sorry guys! Yesterday was my birthday and today I spent the day in Boston, walking like 5 miles and then driving for two hours, so I’m a bit too exhausted to write a post, even a short one on inspiration. My brain is just too kaput.

However, I will be here on Friday with a review of Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being— I promise!

I hope everyone is staying inspired and energized throughout the midweek slump. At least that’ll make one of us. 🙂

I am Obsessed With: Fallout (and RPG storytelling)

Bear with me– this might come off as more of a game review than anything having to do with writing, but it’s sort of an introduction to the second installment of Flying off the Page, which should be posted Wednesday. I just can’t not write this piece, because any time I think about the impending Fallout 4 I have heart palpitations.

Also, it’s my birthday tomorrow! I might be getting my wisdom teeth out on the next day, as well, so if I miss a post (or if it’s horribly incoherent), my apologies.

Back to Fallout 4 and my resulting health complications. Actually, let’s take it even further back, to the first day I slotted Fallout 3 into my Xbox 360.

I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never even played any of the Oblivion titles, so Fallout 3 was really my first foray into a single-player RPG—up until then, I’d been playing story-lite FPS shoot-em-ups like Call of Duty and Halo. (Okay, Halo is also great. I played Halo 4 the other day and I forgot how satisfying the campaigns are. Even though promethean knights are a challenge sent from hell itself.)

What I really didn’t expect, though, was to get sucked in almost immediately. Your father promptly disappears, you are promptly forced to flee the vault, and promptly you are dumped out into the Capital Wasteland, to make of life what you please. There is a main questline, of course—the missing father must be found—but it’s all the choices you make along the way that make the storytelling of the Fallout universe so impactful.

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