Miniscule Baby, Gnome Town

Look closely at this top ad.

Question 1: Are these (presumably doctor’s) fingers holding a miniscule baby up to this ultrasound?

Question 2: Does the miniscule baby live in the Gnome Town?

“You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf”

…the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

…girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold… You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you.

Read the whole essay “You Should Date An Illiterate Girl,” by Charles Warnke. It’s stunning.

I am disturbed by this:

Friday Angst: the sacrifice

Sunday, December 10, 1995 6:30 am (Age 14)

I can’t sleep for worry and pain. Today I have decided to talk to Melissa about Kevin. She always says that she hates him, which makes me angry and jealous. Kevin likes the girl who is mean and doesn’t like him, while I really like him and would never throw ice at his face.

Yesterday at lunch, Kevin kept looking at me and screaming that I was scaring him. I replied that I would throw my hot chocolate at him if he continued to be so rude, but he answered that his cup was fuller. Later, Melissa told me that she would have thrown it at him.

Kevin’s teasing isn’t violent, but throwing hot liquid at him to ruin his clothes and make him walk around wet and cold all day is violent.

Anyway, I’m going to talk to Melissa next time she brings up how cruel Kevin is, and I will tell her that Kevin wonders why she hates him enough to throw ice at his head. I’ll tell her that Kevin is a good person and all good people deserve to be treated with kindness, even if they tease you a lot. Kevin’s personality is Kevin’s personality, and there’s nothing wrong with it unless he hurts you in some way.

Kevin will probably never learn how I am going to stand up for him. Maybe Melissa will realize what I am trying to tell her and be kinder to Kevin. Maybe they will find that they really like each other and start going out. That would hurt so much.

Because I like him so much that I’m willing to stand up for him, he may go out with Melissa, who hates him. I feel like the Little Mermaid who loved a man so much that she gave up her life to try to gain his love. She walked in pain each and every day, her tongue tied. Then, even though she went through so much for the prince, he fell in love with another woman who had never done anything for him. And to save him, the mermaid plunged a knife deep into her own heart and was only rewarded for her pain and love by becoming sea foam that kids pee in.

That’s what I have to look forward to.

duckling. deer. vampir.

YA Highway: doe, a deer

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

To participate, just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments at YA Highway.

This week’s prompt:
Who are your favorite literary villains/antagonists, and why?

I just saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, so the villain who immediately comes to mind is Severus Snape, possibly the most complex character of the series. At first, Snape is relentlessly horrible—a villain you love to hate. Then, when he reluctantly allows Harry access to his memories in Prisoner of Azkaban, we begin to gain some insight into his character, and understand his hatred for Harry’s father. Right then, he becomes far more than a stock villain.

My favorite moment in the entire series is the scene in the final book when Snape gives Harry his last memory right before he dies, revealing his love for Harry’s mother, Lily.

We might have expected Snape’s patronus to be a rat or a crow, but the fact that it’s a gentle doe is unexpected, and the fact that it’s a doe because Lily’s patronus was a doe is heartbreaking.

Snape is wonderful because we hate him, we root for him, and we cry for him. Though it turns out he’s not evil after all, he’s definitely not good. He is just human.

Friday Angst: SEXISM

September 13, 1994 (Age 13)

For many years I have been teased, torn, and filled with anger about something I have tried to change. It exists everywhere, no one’s anger alone can quench it. Sexism.

One of the most unfair problems in our world. I have felt it many times, in skiing, school, karate, and in most of the world’s minds.

When I try to talk to my classmates about gym, they roll their eyes and tell me how stupid I am. But there is a problem, and there always will be a problem unless something is done about it.

Everything about gym is unfair. Girls are required to do 1 pull-up and boys are to do 2.

Girls have to run the mile in 20 minutes, boys run it in 15.

When it comes to sports such as soccer, basketball, and field hockey, girls play inside, boys outside.

More than once after class I asked the reason for this. The ingenious reply was: “If a boy kicked a soccer ball at you, you would be knocked over.”

I’m not knocked over so easily.

I have tried talking to people, but it seems that no one but my parents believes that there is a problem, and will talk about it. I will not give up trying to change the way it is.

eep

Have you ever taken a personal day to write in your favorite coffee shop, found yourself surrounded by children, and Google searched for an inspirational image to add to your WIP concept board—only to come up with a whole screen full of pornographic photos of big, hairy men?

I have.

Lessons learned:

1) Select corner table.

2) Do not Google search “blond boy in bandana.”

3) Find coffee shop without Wi-Fi.

YA Highway: fear itself

 

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

To participate, just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments at YA Highway.

This week’s prompt:
What’s the biggest writing mistake you’ve made?

I don’t make mistakes.

Okay, I do. But not writing mistakes. I don’t believe in writing mistakes.

Sometimes you have to use up all the wrong words before you can find the right ones. Following a tangent can lead to a road you never knew existed. Two uninteresting characters can morph into one unforgettable protagonist.

If you’re a perfectionist like me, that’s easier said than done. It’s hard to grant yourself the freedom to make a mess without thinking you’re “messing up.”

I’ll admit it: I’m afraid of messing up. I’m afraid of using the wrong words. I’m afraid of following tangents that turn into dead ends. I’m afraid of writing boring characters.

But as I slog through the first draft of the new work-in-progress, I have to remember that the only real mistake would be giving in to my fear of making mistakes.

DER HELD!

This morning, a lovely person from Dülmen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, visited my website, where (s)he translated THE HERO page into German. (Side note: statcounter is a little creepy, don’t you think?)

In German, the page looks like this. And THE HERO becomes DER HELD.

I love DER HELD! That “HEL” sounds so tough. And though I cannot read German, I think the prologue sounds even better this way. For instance:

They clung to the side of the basket as it jerked into a dizzy twirl, and then with a whoosh, the balloon went up in a gust of wind and flame.

Becomes:

Sie klammerte sich an die Seite des Korbes, wie es in einem schwindlig drehen riss und dann mit einem Zischen, ging der Ballon bis in eine Windböe und Flamme.

Windböe und Flamme!

I need to write the next book in German.

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