Book characters

In class tonight, talking about literature, I mention that – and this is somewhat quietly after someone else mentions that she loves the character ‘so much’ – I mention that I kind of hate her.

The classmate who always sits by me says, almost immediately, “Hannah, you don’t ever like nobody,” and we both crack up, knowing that it is kind of totally true (at least in terms of the books we’ve discussed for class).

Post-a-day 2018

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Atlas Shrugged (and so do I)

Have you ever read it, Atlas Shrugged?  I am listening to the audiobook while driving, and I am finding it oddly wonderful.  Occasionally, I want to jot down sentence after sentence from it, and then just give up the idea, realizing that I might as well just tell people to read the whole book, because there are only five million quotes worth sharing from it.  Obviously, that is exaggerated.  However, I gave up bothering to write down anything from it, because before I can even pause the book to write down what I’d just heard, I’ve already heard something else, something additional, that I now also want to write down.  And that goes on for quite a while, such that I would be pausing the book far too much to be able to stay in the book.  So, I don’t copy any of them down, and I don’t even bother working on remembering them either, there are so many of them.  I just listen and absorb and enjoy and wonder.  I have no idea what this book is about.  I had ideas related to something from the era of Fahrenheit 451 and the other Orwell future-is-a-terrible-place sorts of novels, but I don’t know where I got the idea – I genuinely knew nothing but the title of the book before I began reading it just last week.

But I like it so far.  It has me ever on my toes, and the reader is wonderful with making everything seem important and worth hearing.  I feel like I’m in a spy novel of some sort, but, instead of its being about a murder of some sort, it is about life as a whole, and we are spying on life as a concept, and examining each little piece and evaluating it as though it were unique and brand new to us.  All this with a love of a railroad company taking the driver’s seat, and being good at whatever work one does in the passenger seat.

Post-a-day 2018

My life in a novel

I feel like pieces of my life – almost every day – could be parts of a Sophie Kinsella novel.  Perhaps that is how she writes her novels; she combines all the ridiculous bits of her own life, with the plot of a made-up person’s life.  Even if she doesn’t do that, I think this is good enough validation for me to do that myself.  I mean, let’s be real here: I’m wearing a would-be engagement ring around these days, as though it’s no big deal, and I’m about to start telling people about how amazing it actually is, and how I think it’s a great thing for women to try at some point when they aren’t actually engaged.  How is that standard white bread normal?  Plus, wouldn’t that be a great part of a book about smart yet silly, somewhat crazy girl in her mid-twenties?  Exactly.  I need to start writing my own Sophie Kinsella novels.  She has inspired me and shown me that my life has just enough ridiculous for such a story.

Post-a-day 2018

Writing, math in life…

I’ve been on the phone with my college flatmate tonight, talking about writing.  Apparently, I actually do have some fun and crazy ideas that would be really interesting for people to read – she didn’t even understand how I got to the sorts of ideas that regularly come to mind, simply as the normal order of thinking in my head.  So, I guess that’s not so normal as I’d thought it to be, having such ideas so casually and regularly.

The thing is, I haven’t set up sitting down to do it.  Not yet, anyway, and not for long enough.  I’ve noticed that writing at night is not the way to go for me.  For other things, sure – I can do loads of physical movement at night.  For writing, however, I’m next to hopeless, it feels.  I don’t feel much like writing anything in the first place at night, and so I struggle to find something to write, and then I make loads of errors in what I do finally write.  It just isn’t a good combination.

Speaking of combinations, I was talking with students in my geometry class today about how math can be useful in life in cool ways.  One example was from a show my stepdad watches about the TV show “The Walking Dead”.  It’s sort of a behind-the-scenes sort of show, and this particular bit that I saw was talking about everything they had to do in order to set up a car crash.  It was really cool, seeing everything broken down, all of the things they had to organize to make it work.  The best part, perhaps, was seeing how it was pure geometry and physics that made the crash work flawlessly.

The other example was in a little photo shoot I was witnessing (and had to abandon for distress), in which the photographer said that they were supposed to be sitting in a Christmas tree formation.  But she didn’t do anything to make this happen.  She didn’t even seem to know what needed to be done for this shape to happen.  (The people in charge definitely seemed to be lacking in general crowd control and effective instructions arenas, too.)  It occurred to me that she never considered just getting the number of people – I’d have done it ahead of time, but on the sport would have worked just finely, too – expected in the photo, and dividing them up into the necessary number of people per row, based on the exact shape desired and the number of rows available.  I was about to begin the calculations as I watched, but then realized that no one was going to listen to me anyway, so it was better if I just left the stressful situation, since that was the only thing I actually could do in the situation.  So, I left.  But it proved to be a good example to the kids in class at how math is present in life in ways that people don’t even consider.  Had the photographer thought about math, – and it is likely that she didn’t, because she wasn’t very confident in or in love with math while in school – the whole photo shoot could have gone loads better than it did.  And they could have had the Christmas tree, and even decorated with “lights” or an outline, using the different shirt and jacket colors present and available.  But she didn’t, so none of that happened.

 

Post-a-day 2017

My life/books

I sometimes worry that I read to escape my life.  This is not to say that I find a need to escape my life, but merely that I grow a sort of addiction to a good book, because the story within the book is so much better than my own.  I long for the life I see in the story, and so throw myself into it as much and as often as possible… thereby stepping away from my own life for a good chunk of time, temporary though it is.

Unlike Kathleen Kelly in “You’ve Got Mail”, I do not find interesting things happening in books versus in my own life – I do find myself doing amazing and interesting things that I almost never have read in books.  However, similar to her, I long for something that I find in these books.  I long for the outside influences of people who love one another – I want to be loved like true love in a story.  I have faith in myself for a successful, beautiful story of accomplishments… I am not so sure about others taking up their roles within my own story…  Perhaps this isn’t really making sense… I’ll retire for the night.  I’m stilted, putting these inward emotions into outward words, and I’m not liking the result so far.  Hmm…

Post-a-day 2017

Tess and E-mails

Tonight, as I showered, I found myself thinking of Tess of the d’Ubervilles, a character from Thomas Hardy’s book of the same name.  I, therefore, began also to think about the book itself, and the events connected to my reading of the book.  I easily discovered that I wanted to share with the world a good section of the e-mail I sent to a former high school teacher of mine shortly after my conclusion of the novel.  Be forewarned: Spoilers are included (regarding the novel).

Said e-mail section:

—————————————–

 Hi, Ms. B[…]!

Hannah […] here (photos attached), […] class of 2009. I was in your Junior English class of 2007-2008, and likely gave you a hard time in the various class discussions (I always have been one to challenge ideas, even if I believe them already myself, just to find a new perspective). I believe it was around the end of the school year that you gave me a copy of Tess of the d’Ubervilles. I’m not sure what I mentioned specifically that had you give the book to me, but I do believe I had asked for some sort of recommendation.

It took me forever, and I’m not sure why exactly, but I finally got around to reading the book last year (I think it got stored away when I went to college, and I just never saw it until I cleared out a lot of books in my move last March.). As I was going through it, I was captivated. There was some magic-like force drawing me to the book. Most nights, I had to force myself to stop reading and just go to sleep, Hannah! As I reached particularly exciting or nerve-wracking parts, I shared with my flatmate about the book. We eventually were both excited to see what came next – each night, after I explained what I’d read the night before, we would sit in the hallway before bed, discussing our thoughts, predictions, and hopes for the story, and then I’d go and actually read right before bed.

At the end of the book, I came storming out of my bedroom one night to my waiting flatmate (she’d already heard me fussing). I told her how the book ended, and she was flabbergasted. “Are you for real?” was the phrase of the night for the two of us. Thus the reason I am e-mailing you.

I’m hoping you can shed some light on the book for me/us. Why on Earth did we have to go through all the ridiculous and terrible ordeals with Tess, always with a lining of upbeat-ness and hope, only to find her doomed in more ways than one at the end. I mean, come on, who destroys herself so pathetically, while always acting the victim, and then deciding ‘This is what must be done,’ and going insane when an alternative arrives, landing herself in prison with a death sentence? It all just seems so outrageous. (You can sense my outrage, I imagine [Though, I wouldn’t call it outrage so much as dislike and disappointment.].)

Anyway, I can only imagine that there was something more to the book – a societal background, a cultural issue being addressed, a historical event receiving his commentary… that sort of thing.

So, do you mind shedding some light on the situation??

I realize this is a rather big question, but I figured you’d be the perfect person to ask!

[…]

—–—————————-

The e-mail continued on, discussing another book that I had recently re-read from her class, and asking her thoughts on that novel as well.  However, my thoughts were on Tess tonight, so I’ll leave it with the Tess section for now.

What I love about this e-mail is the fact that it exists, as well as the fact that it turned into an actual exchange between the two of us.  My high school was one where teachers were not only high quality regarding their subject areas, but impactful and accessible enough that I easily considered e-mailing one of them (and one with whom I wasn’t even all that close) when I had such an inquiry, despite the fact that this was years and years after my time studying at the school.  I just love that.  Love it, I do!
Post-a-day 2017

What I want to do with a good chunk of my daily time

I really just want to write books.  Period.  I don’t know how to start, and I don’t know what topic to use for the book, or even in what style to write the book (well, books, really).  And I realize that needn’t matter.  I’m still not writing a book, though.  Let alone books.

So, what’s up with that?  

Can we handle that?  Like… Now?

Please, and thank you, my dearest self.  And, for now, goodnight.  Sleep tight.  Sweet dreams.  See you when you wake up.
Post-a-day 2017