Past the Gate

 Arriving, I locked the gate. Only the past got past my doors, a block to my world, its tail carefully so that it wiggles and covers its face.

 I didn’t dare, frozen as I was, to question where all that wrath had come from. Insane, swimming in paranoia, their words for my world.

 Counting. Might sleep take them away? No. Memories giggle like children that splash on ponds. Sometimes, they are not facts. Mere images. Voices, scorn. Meant to sear deeper inside, mixes with dreams in houses of corpses, a body that’s not mine, yet with that I’m left to wander till I awake. On realms I can’t recall, or wish I don’t to trick what I know.

 The walls tower the bed, beige like burnt café. Silence, though behind lurks the dread of a crime.

My Crush

Shiver

That’s all you can do.
When the sky glooms,

the moon breaks and swoons

you don’t move,

awash in wonder

or fear over what’s fonder

in my heart;

your eyes or this sun.
Speak

Cicadas’ talk resembles hymns

of joy and peace

when compared to you.

I hardly know how to smile

yet I’m there,

feeling no contempt,

awaiting a change

but all I got is a wide range

of what you might say.

Astounded, I wait.
The clouds part,

perfect shapes melting 

like a tired heart.

I don’t give up

nor talk

nor act.

You won’t either.
You shiver,

a pang thorbs in my liver.

I stare into my crush,

face-to-face

at my own pace.

Alas, I’m afraid

but I’ll not crash this world

for your sake.

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Lyra is a replica, a clone manufactured along with hundreds others in Haven where they are secluded, treated with despise and sometimes fear. That’s until an explosion breaks out and she gets free. For Gemma her life has always been the same. Guarded as though she’s fragile, a pariah in school along with her best friend and that’s until she overhears her parents talking about Haven. After being almost kidnapped, the girl decides to let go of her shell and find what her parents hide from her. Replica is a story of two girls and their journey towards the truth of Haven and their lives. 

I loved how this book was formed. It’s divided into two books; one is from Lyra’s point of view and the from Gemma’s but it’s the same story, yet the chance of seeing thibgs from their point of view helps to understand the characters. I also liked the fact that albeit being sci-fi, it didn’t include a lot of jargon or boring details that genre tends to have. Instead, it fused any information vital to the plot within the story.

Overall, Gemma’s story struck to me most. I did begin with Lyra’s because it appeared more interesting but by the end in my opinion Gemma had the biggest emotional growth. Lastly, the book overflowed with tension and plot twists. Whethre you finish the first part by itself and turn to the other girl’s book, there is still plenty to learn.

The biggest problem was the filtering. In every page and description as though done on purpose to alienate the readers. I can’t know if Lauren Oliver knows that but it’s a pity, for it killed much of the enjoyment. Moreover, I liked her writing, so that’s even worse. Didn’t an editor see the book?

The emotions weren’t vivid most of the time. The reader could see but not feel and that made the novel mundane at times of no tension. Another thing has to do with Lyra. This not a severe spoiler since it’s revealed within the first 15-20 pages of her story and it has to do with her sexuality. By her memories of one female doctor, the warmth she felt in her presence, I thought she was a lesbian only to be confused later on with regard to both her sexuality and how she viewed that doctor. That frustrated me a lot and didn’t allow her to be a cohesive character in my eyes.

A unique book that’s easy to read but not as enjoyable as it could be. I couldn’t understand Lyra and the profusion of filtering dried the story.

3.5/5.0

My Dance

Inside my heart

there is space

for an art

that keeps me in pace

with the madness

around me.

 

With every day

comes bright

the chance to say

what’s right

and what I don’t have.

But I stay silent.

 

It’s my life

yet at times

it’s as if my knife

slices too hard those limes

And the thoughts swirl,

never being quenched.

 

A chance

I seek

to dance

not be meek.

Release the chaos

with a laugh.

For it’s my dance.

 

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5 Things I Learned from my Second Draft

 Yes, I did it. I finished the second draft of my first novel. Originally I had intended to finish it by June 1 but it didn’t happen.

1)Smoother Voice

 One of the main problems I had with this book was the characters. I loved them but didn’t know much about their emotional reactions(their physical signals to emotions like anger or discomfort). That’s until I got The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. It helped me understand not only how to show emotion but how to step further and adjust the reaction based on a character’s personality and after making a character sheet with a separate section for Emotional Characteristics for my protagonist, I rarely puzzle over how her reaction will be at a scene. It also aided in describing better her inner world and albeit the fact that I still have to learn things regarding her to make her more specific, I don’t struggle with her voice as I did in the 1st draft.

2)Longer than the first

 Even after the massacre of pointless scenes, the book ended around 8k longer. It feautured more worldbuildibg and careful display of emotions, which in hindsight might have been unnecessary at points. Stephen King has said that: “2ND Draft= 1ST Draft – 10%.” I kept that in mind throughout the five months of writing but I couldn’t supress things I wanted to say just for the sake of length.

3)20x better

 Well, maybe not 20 times but it’s miles better for sure. The characters are richer, the flashbacks don’t seem forced and it the character arc seems clear(to me at least).

4)Far from perfect

 I believed that by the end of the second draft, the story would be cohesive and the only thing left would be to accentuate the feelings/words, etc. It hasn’t been so. A few parts still refuse to make sense but I have noted them at the end of the draft and will make them straight one at a time(not all are painstaking). Moreover, the story is packed with atrocious descriptions but at least they were there. The first time I didn’t even have them when they stressed me. 

5)Enjoyed it more

 Flows came faster. My prose even poetic when I didn’t expect it and the story seeped through my heart, most of the time feeling like a new book. A better one, yet with more growth to be made.
 Thanks for reading. It doesn’t matter how long it takes and you will never regret writing even if the creative folder of your brain may yearn for a nap. Keep writing!

The Hurricane

The magnolias shivered, their branches cracked as cats hopped from them when the wind harassed the park, rocked at the windows.

She walked on. Tufts of breath haunted her like his voice.

”I’m sorry. It was just a crush.” The way his lips had pouted and eyes glinted.

She didn’t cry nor blamed herself. Pieces of a bench moved hither and thither, forgotten amid dust and raindrops.

Her boots tripped on the last of them and she staggered backward, wincing as the hurricane pulled her hair.

He used to rest his hands on it after their lovemaking. Not the sky spat leaves at it and struck. As his words had.

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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

Helen Huntington decides to get away from her husband, a drunkard without any respect for her, for the sake of her child. Defined as the mysterious tenant of Wildfell Hall, the locals of her new place will soon try to pore deeper into her life, including the young gentleman Gilbert Markham who falls in love with her. A powerful novel often censured the social conventions of its time even by Anne’s older sister, Charlotte Brontë.

The novel depicted different kinds of characters like Helen and Gilbert to Annabella and Lord Lowborough, each vivid through his acts. I liked Helen for even during her marriage she wasn’t passive and constantly admonishes her husband and strove to make him repent. Gilbert is passionate and loyal as seen when he refused to believe the rumors about Mrs. Graham(Helen’s acquired name to avoid suspicion). Rachel was also a kind-hearted woman and other characters struck me like Esther and Frederick. Told in the first person and in a letter form(as well as through a diary by Helen for the most part) the author enabled us an insight into their feelings and patience. In Helen’s case, the mood might have been gloomier but I liked the progress of her relationship with her husband until all hope had been shattered.

Furthermore, despite a classic, it was an easy read. It used a lovely prose and often quoted Biblical passages to accentuate the emotional state of the protagonists. While exploring two points of view, it allowed for a more objective perception of the love the heroes had.

Like many titles of its time, the book used a lot of telling and unnecessary adjectives that didn’t create more vivid descriptions. Also, after the narration of the diary ended, the largest part of the last pages was slow and tiresome but that didn’t apply to the ending.

A classic that you will remember long after the last page. I’ll check out Wuthering Heights this summer.

4.5/5.0