If I Could Disappear Into a Book

Books 2

If I could somehow disappear into a book and become a fictional character, then as sure as anything I would.

Fictional characters have it so much easier. Their story has a clear beginning and end and you know that stuff is just going to keep happening to them because you have another 200 pages to go. If it suddenly becomes to embarrassing to bear you can skip that part. You can read your favourite moments over and over again.

So, really, on reflection, I don’t want to disappear into a book. I want to read the book of my life instead of living it.

Huh.

Consuming the Words

Lately, I haven’t been reading books. I’ve been consuming them.

Fangirl (again): Tasty.

The Fault in Our Stars (again, again): Can I have that with some golden syrup please? Thank you.

Boy 21 (for the first time): In it goes.

The first two Selection novels: OMNOMNOM

The entire Nimona comic: I CANNOT DIGEST THIS AWESOMENESS

This page was found on Gingerhaze.com. I don't own it or anything.
This page was found on Gingerhaze.com. I don’t own it or anything.

A Different Sort of Q & A…with Myself

So, hello people out there. This is going to be a Q and A session with my trusty mate Apple, who also happens to be myself (don’t argue). Apple has decided that you don’t really know much about her. 

Talking about myself in the third person is horribly strange, you know that?

Two selves

Shush. Now, I shall be asking the questions. First up: what is your favourite word/s? Words are very good to define someone’s character by.

Um, not really. Although if they say they don’t have one, it is a bit of an indication. Anyway, my favourite words at the moment are ‘superfluous’, ‘deplore’, ‘personified’ and ‘ciliated epithelial cell’. I know that’s sort of weird, but they are all just so nice to say. Try it.

…okay. Moving swiftly onwards, what book did you last read, whether you liked it or not?

The last book I read was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It was good, but not that good, It’s not my favourite book ever. Also, I’m noticing a word-related pattern here.

As I said before, words are important. Speaking of favourite books, what is your favourite book?

Ach, don’t ask me that. It’s too hard to decide.

You’ve piqued my interest. Choose a couple.

Fine: Throne of Glass, by Sarah J Maas. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Blood Family by Anne Fine. Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones. Geek Girl by Holly Smale. Perhaps Slated, Memoirs of a Geisha and Shift. There’s too many to choose from.

You weren’t joking. That really was a long list.

Of course I wasn’t joking, you idiot!

This conversation makes nonsense. You’re me, and I’m you.

Don’t remind me of it. I’m the one that’s writing about myself about myself and all that conundrum stuff.

It reminds me of Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox. That was a very confusing book, when we read it. Also, what did you have for lunch?

Pitta  bread and hummus. And can we please not get started on Artemis Fowl? Not to mention the whole we/I/you thing. It’s just confuddling me (a beautiful word, that, even if it isn’t real).

Okay. But can we first mention your strange love for fonts?

No, but you mentioned it anyway. You can’t ask permission to mention something, because that in itself is mentioning the thing.

But I do have a strange love for fonts. Calisto MT and Californian FB are particularly nice to write in. I’ve been converted from Calibri. I shiver to think of writing in it. People don’t notice fonts and that kind of stuff, though, unless it’s in titles. Everyday writing fonts are not paid attention to. They should be. They’re beautiful.

This is only proving your strangeness.

Writing a Q & A with myself makes me seem strange? Wow. I amazed. That was sarcasm, by the way.

Shut up.

This conversation is dissolving into ridiculousness.

I know.

Let’s end it here, okay?

What’s in a Name? Actually, More Than You’d Think

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare came out with a lot of famous words and quotes. I always thought that this one was two separate quotes – ‘What’s in a name?’ and ‘A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet’ – and I never realised they were said together.

Daffodil

 A rose will of course smell just as sweet if we called a roze, like Dutch, or a rosa, like Italian, or a surgens, like Latin (thank you,   Google Translate). Roses don’t smell particularly different if you travel from one country to the next. No, the problem that I have with this quote mostly lies in the ‘what’s in a name?’ part. In the context, Juliet is basically telling Romeo that it doesn’t matter he is Montague and she is a Capulet, which works very well. However, Juliet does need to remember that a lot can lie in a name, just like it can lie in a word.

The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter-it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.

– Mark Twain

You see, these two quotes seem to be at war with each other. Although I hate to go against Shakespeare, considering he is probably the most famous person in the world and is an amazing writer, an awful lot can lie in a name. For instance, if Juliet were called Sam, quite a lot of us would probably look at her in a different way even if none of the other words in the play were changed. The very name Juliet sounds of red dresses and red dresses remind me of love (in my opinion). I’m not sure if that’s the influence of the story and the experiences that I associate with the name, but if Juliet were to be a colour it would be red.

Writing

To give some other examples, Joanna is a yellow-blue name and Greg is a green and brown name. I know this sounds a bit like synaesthesia but names give me different feelings and colours were just a good way to describe those feelings (as a note, I have always wondered if not everyone sees red as red. Maybe they see green as red, but they think of green as red so they don’t know it. Sorry for going a bit off topic there).

In short what I am trying to say is that there is a lot in a name; not only meanings, but emotions as well. And that doesn’t just end with names, because words even more powerful.

 

The Pointlessness (or not) of Stories

Don’t get me wrong; I love writing stories. You probably didn’t know but I actually really like stories. Reading them as well as writing them.

But sometimes, I just get a feeling that it’s all a bit pointless. This was brought to my attention recently by an article in the newspaper about an author who wrote about his life, which was fairly normal. First, though, before I get to that, here is an excellent quote, from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which is an excellent book:

Author’s Note  image

This is not so much an author’s note as an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago: This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.

Neither novels or their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.
I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Although I agree with this (and dissecting books sentence by sentence in English ruins them completely and forever) it’s also not quite true. There are things you can learn from stories – one of them being the power of words, and another one being that words are useless.

Books are places to escape in. You get into the world, but then you have to leave it. It breaks a little bit of me each time I have to stop reading an amazing book. And I have to accept that it’s just not real.  When I write, I always try to think of something to break this pattern, to make the story real and not just a story, but I can’t without ruining the plot. So I guess I’ll just keep on going like that, until I either become a good enough writer to convey this or someone invents something amazing.

Still, the question is always there, in the back of my head: do the words I’m writing mean anything, or are they just part of a story?

Words And a Pen