Word trap

Still listening to Dorian Gray, but I’ve noticed a certain repetition of wording that happens so often it stands out. No one in this book ever sits down, they all invariably fling or throw themselves into their chairs and sofas–sometimes multiple characters in a scene.

I find myself repeating words like that, too. When I read back through something I wrote, I see the same word over and over, and I have to search for replacements for it.

Good to know even the best of authors can fall into repetitive patterns!

The quest for youth

I’ve started listening to the Picture of Dorian Gray, and it has a lot of intriguing dialogue so far.

I like that Dorian is so jealous of the painting even right from the start. That it will stay young and he will get old is such a painful idea for him, that he brings it up even a few days later, to say that the painting is already days younger than he is.

I never thought about aging when I was 20 years old… so this Dorian is quite the vain person to be worrying about it so young…

 

Love in the Time of Cholera

This was the story of love between many people over a lifetime.

There were so many little nuggets of goodness in this novel that it’s hard to give a general idea of why I liked it. I loved the description of Florintino, and found a lot of myself in him. He was also laughable at times, though, with his ridiculous ideas of love and his determination that bordered on obsession.

I enjoyed the juxtaposition of youth and age, and how their views on love differed, but the views that others took of them remained the same–they were kept apart in their youth because they were too young, but in their old age, their families try to keep them apart because they are too old for love!

Fermina has a hard/hot headedness that Florintino refuses to give in to, and it is fun and emotional to read. He is a tireless, endless lover and you can’t help but cheer for him to keep trying.

The kind of love that lets you fall for someone in your youth, and then be unable to forget about them for fifty years, even when they never talk to you or even acknowledge your existence, is difficult to imagine. But Marquez does a great job of giving me an insight, and a hint at what that might feel like.

 

Ranking Reading

I got the crazy idea recently that I would rank all the books I’ve ever read, as well as I can remember. Turns out that is just crazy, and I have no idea how to even begin sorting through the 350ish books on my goodreads. So, I’ll just start with the books I’ve read this year… but I’m not quite done with this year, so that will be a future post! However, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be between Crime and Punishment, and Lolita for best of the year. Strange to be pitting books against each other based solely on when I happened to read them, but, there you go…

 

Distant love

Fermina and Florintino have broken it off, and the arc of their romance reminds me of many internet relationships of modern day.

The two of them communicated nearly exclusively via letters, even though they lived in the same town. Then when Fermina moved away, they continued their correspondence for several years, eventually agreeing to marry–all while having said no more than a few sentences to eachother in person, and those years ago.

Then, one day Flortintino comes upon Fermina in the market and whispers in her ear–something that took great courage, as Florintino was always completely paralyzed when he saw her, and could only watch from afar–but when she turns and sees his face up close, the spell is broken, and she realizes it’s all been an illusion. She leaves, and drops the whole thing that moment, never answering his letters or seeing him again–all too easy for her, since they only spoke via letters, and no one other than her father and one cousin even knew he existed.

This kind of ephemeral relationship, though possibly rare and strange in the past, is now commonplace with the advent of the internet. I’m sure countless people can identify with either Florintino–who fell madly in love with someone he’d basically never met in real life, and then was destroyed when she vanished. Or with Fermina, who realized she was in too deep with someone who, in actuality, was a complete stranger, and cut it off while she could.

A good story stays relevant over the years, and this one has in ways the author probably never anticipated…

Our New Creative Writing Magazine is Open for Submissions — Lucent Dreaming — Jannat Ahmed

Many moons ago, before the summer slung itself haphazard over the shoulders of Britons, and as easily fell away, my friends and I dreamt up a new creative writing magazine. The journey to launch has been an interesting one. Frankly, of course, we have no idea what we’re doing. And I imagine that will be […]

via Our New Creative Writing Magazine is Open for Submissions — Lucent Dreaming — Jannat Ahmed

Gerunds

I hate them! I am going through my novel and highlighting all of them. Of course, not all are bad all of the time, but I think they are a good indicator of where a sentence can be improved.

Ing, with, still, again, had been, began to, was, etc. Lots of words that can be perfectly fine, but often are not. I see them as red flags. And a lot of red flags in one area means I should probably improve that area…

Chop chop!