Thursday, September 20, 2012

The return of normal Aster.

Yep.  Catharsis is over.  I'm back to my unsocial, sarcastic, selfish, uncaring self!

To prove it, here's my report on this week's movies.  They actually only measure up to... two.  So I got distracted.  The first, which I watched Tuesday, was Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.

Ye gods, Eragon was better than that.

That's all I have to say on that matter.  Except that at least you cared about Brom and Saphira and maybe even Eragon a little bit.  And that the battle scenes were actually interesting.  And that the dialogue wasn't always abysmal.

PJ gets no checks on those.

Today I watched Jane Eyre, the 2011 version with Mia Wasikowska in the title role.  I'd heard great things and I expected to love it, but... didn't.  I don't blame the actors - they were fantastic with what they were giving.  The script was just so... boring.  And it left so many holes in the relationship between Jane and Rochester.  Sigh.  Two disappointing book-inspired movies in one week.  Maybe I'll get better luck tomorrow.

Anyway.  The Book Report:

* Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green.  YAY NORSE.
* Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted.  Modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling that could be really horrible or really good.
* Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones.  JONES AGAIN.
* Beowulf translated by... someone.  I'll get back to you on that.
* Magical x Miracle Vol 2 by Yuzu Mizutani.
* Pandora Hearts Vol 7 by Jun Mochizuki.  I didn't get around to it last week.  I WILL do it this week.
* Wonder by R.J. Palacio. About a kid with a facial deformity.  It was actually really good.

I'm also sort of slowing down with my 100 In 100, but I'm still in the game.  Even if I don't beat everybody else...

Monday, September 17, 2012


Here on Earth, life depends on the adjustments.  The ups and downs.  The happy and the sad.  The one side the gives you perspective when you get to the other.  The never-ending teeter-totter, the constant pendulum of laughter and tears.

I just had a tears moment.  Over my own characters.  And not just one or two, as it usually happens.  No, this moment came courtesy of almost every character I've ever been close to.  It must have been twenty, thirty at least.  Crowded inside my head.  They reminded me of every sad thing I've ever written, every misfortune, every death.  Every person who had to move on in the timeline, in the reality inside my head.

It was hard.  But I needed it.

I have a tendency to take this art for granted.  I forget all the time what an honor and a privilege it is to be able to do what I do.  These characters - these people all living inside my mind... it's a beautiful, bittersweet state of being.

It's beautiful because they're my friends.  They are closer to me than anyone on this planet will ever be. They live inside my skin; they move me with their beliefs and their choices; their thoughts run through my veins.  I can't be a single entity anymore because they are me and I am them.

It's bittersweet because... they are me and I am them.  And they suffer.  Oh, they suffer.  When they suffer, I suffer.  They're bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh and I feel everything they feel.

And there are those few characters who turn out to be more of me than the others.  The ones whose pain comes from mine.  The ones I understand because they are me - they have more of me than the others do.  They're special.  They understand.  It's raw and horrible and I hate them because they have all my worst weaknesses.  But there's no way to keep from loving them, too, just for their weaknesses.  I know how it is.

How do I forget this?  How do I not end up face-first on the ground every time I open a document to write, in abject humility for being allowed this?

The feather-heavy touch of My Characters, holding my hand, living and loving and fighting and dying inside my skin.  These beautiful broken people, children from my mind Athena-like, who came to me without invitation and without permission.  Punching through my walls, braiding themselves to my heartstrings, taking me over and dragging me down into the deepest waters of emotional vulnerability.

I'm allowed this.  I can experience this.  The sweet curse, the bitter blessing, the white rose with bloody thorns.  It's a good thing it takes a long day and an unexpected mood change to make me realize this.  If it happened every day, I think it'd be too much for me.  I can only feel so much at one time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So behind with so many things.

Well, I missed about three different things I meant to blog about.  I'll just have to give the abridged version.

Book Report:
* The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman (SHUSTERMAN)
* The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (rec'd by a trusted friend)
* Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones (JONES)
* Henry IV, Part One by William Shakespeare (didn't get around to this last week)
* Magical x Miracle Vol. 1 by Yuzu Mizutani (random manga I picked up in Goodwill)
* Pandora Hearts Vol. 7 by Jun Mochizuki (didn't get around to this either)

Now.  The 100 In 100 Challenge.

As of yesterday, I had 1784 words.  About 700 of those were in the novel I started; the rest went into an epilogue I wrote for my fairytale/ghost story, Bitter Magic.  I haven't written anything today and I'm thinking this may end up my grace day for this week.  Headaaache.


As anyone knows, The Avengers comes out on DVD on the 25th - in other words, thirteen days. (Cue fangirl screams.)  I like counting down to such momentous events (it's sort of like my thing with Top Ten Lists and such) and so I've given myself this challenge:

Watch a new movie every day for thirteen days.  Then I can watch Avengers which I saw in theaters three times.

Does the connection make sense?  'Course not.  But I want an excuse to watch a new movie every day, so here we go.

I haven't decided on one for tonight, but yesterday I got around to one I've been wanting to see for ages - Castle in the Sky, a masterpiece straight from Hayao Miyazaki himself.  It was really brilliant - the art was gorgeous, the characters were awesome, and the soundtrack - aahhh, the soundtrack.  Definitely a winner.

I'll check back in tomorrow with something about both today's and tomorrow's movies.  And hopefully a much-higher wordcount.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Guess what, Avengers?  I WAS.

And I have conquered.


Every novel I finish has a different flavor.

Bitter Magic was appropriately bitter.  Sort of like old salt.  I was tired and that book had wrung me out emotionally and finishing was more of a duty done than something to celebrate.

Gemini, the second Aster Quartet book, that was... mmmm.  Strawberry cake.  I finished it on December 31st last year and it was kind of this big happy-party for me.  Especially since it's the longest book I've ever written (I think it got close to 100k words).

Deep Six was like cornbread and honey.  I knew it was too sweet of an ending but I loved it so much.  It and all my characters.  Not good for me - the MC was too much like myself for comfort - but really, really fun.

Manipulation... I don't know how it tastes.  I want to say catfish, but that's just because I was eating an old piece of catfish while writing the second-to-last chapter.

Actually, though, it does have sort of a... salty feel to it.   It's not a good book.  It's really a fail on most levels.  I hate reading through it because it gives this salty, don't-eat-too-much-or-I'll-dry-out-your-brain feel.  But...

Salt is good.  It doesn't taste good (by itself) but it's good.  You kind of need salt.

I've been working on this book for four years, at least.  I was developing the world for at least a year before that.  All the characters are sort of... under my skin.

Brian, Archer.  Jennet, Phillip.  Ariadne and Cynnabar.  Tabby and Peridoht and Marian.  Jack and Holly and Noelle.  Even Feldsparr, who only got in a few scenes but who I swear is going to get a position in some other story.  There're all... very personal now, even if their development wasn't the best I've ever written.  It's... I have to admit, I'll miss them.

That said.



I'll be back.  I have some homemade chocolate pudding to make.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

100 For 100 Challenge

Nope.  This picture has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the post.  I just like it.  Even though this Thursday has actually been pretty good so far, despite the lack of schoolwork accomplished.

So there's that.  The 100 for 100 Challenge.  I'll be attempting that, starting this Monday.

They encourage working in one manuscript.  You don't have to, but it's encouraged.  So I was thinking.

Evil Aster: Let's finish Manipulators before the 10th so you can focus solely on Sparkly Viking Vampire Aliens!

Real Aster: . . .

So yeah.  That's what I'm attempting now.  Eight chapters in five days.  WHAT.

If I succeed, then I'm going to be really pleased with myself.  I mean, really, really pleased.  Thrilled even.  I'll probably make myself a milkshake.  Or maybe even homemade chocolate pudding.

Did I just promise myself homemade chocolate pudding?  Goodbye, internet.  I shall see you again on the 11th, my face smeared with suspicious brown substance.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Report, 9.4.12

Well, I got everything read last week except for...

Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Vol. 2 by Roger Langridge, Chris Samnee, and Matt Wilson
Yep.  Let's try this again.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
The Shadowhunter world is like Maximum Ride - a literary trainwreck.  It's horrible to behold (is there any other more selfish love interest than Will Herondale?) but you can't stop watching (Jem, seriously, snap out of it and propose to Sophie before I start writing fanfic of her bashing in Tessa's wishy-washy head with the mirror).

Worldshaker by Richard Harland
Again, no idea what this one's about.  Just picked it up at a BAM sale.  We shall see.

Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce
...Would you believe I don't know what this one is about either?  Something about a room with lots of houses, I think.  It's one of my cousin's favorites, anyway.  And Diana Wynne Jones endorsed it!  I think I'll have fun.

Henry IV, Part One by William Shakespeare
Slowly but surely making my way down the Shakespeare list.

Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A.S. Byatt
Just another little something to appease my Norse addiction.  Apparently a rewrite of Ragnarok.  Obviously.

Pandora Hearts, Vol. 7 by Jun Mochizuki
Aaaaugh this manga's getting goooood.  I still don't understand half of it but it's sooo goooood.  (And the art.  My gosh, the art.)