“…that in certain cases community of symbol is greater than community of speech.”

Sigmund Freud, Dream Psychology

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Burning the Handbook of Mortals?

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As a published author, I am proud of every star, review (positive or negative), and every dollar my novel and articles earn. This recent case about a book making it to the New York Time’s Best Seller’s list has just intensified this pride. Instead of dousing my desire to write because any nameless writer can make it to the top of a prestigious list, I am delighted that the product of my own night musings and caffeine-induced daydreams  is there, fighting a fair battle for me. It is perhaps a turning point in publishing literature: it does not matter what is on the list. What matters is what is going to last.

Handbook of Mortals may have earned a bigger publicity albeit how negative the comments are; it has etched a hideous mark on what most authors have been aiming for.

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I won’t even go as far as rating the book with a star. For now. Maybe the writer did her part in creating a wonderful story- I could give her that benefit of the doubt. Then again, I’m a writer as well, a very ambitious one who is easily swayed by competition.

Bosses irk their employees by promoting those who don’t deserve it, so nobody can point a dirty finger at me and expect me not to bite.

Reading Goal Achieved… with a little cheat

I updated my Goodreads after finishing L. Frank Baum’s The Sea Fairies and lo and behold, I managed to read 80 books, my target for 2017.

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But I will let you in on a little secret: seventy four of those were Japanese comic books.

I used to think that counting comic books as part of one’s reading challenge is cheating. Then again, I asked myself, at least I got to read volumes of comic books and finishing ONE PIECE from Volume 20 to 85 was already a difficult feat in itself that manga enthusiasts hardly take as a challenge.

As this is just the fifth month, most likely, I will still be able to read more impressive stuff and finish my TBR list. Who knows how many I will be able to finish at the end of the year? That’s part of the excitement, isn’t it?

I’m currently poring over :

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Review: Pilot Birdie Mechanical Pencil

Warning: Not for those who are appalled by traditional writing systems and certainly note for those who believe a stylus and a huge phone can save the world lots of trees.

I want to honor this tiny little guy right here, Pilot Birdie, in a post. It has been my constant companion since ideas raced each other in my head and abusing my phone’s keypad and note wouldn’t do.
不明Because of its sleek design, I could easily keep it in my pocket. Pretty handy for quick notes. The metal finish also gives an assurance of durability to which I can attest- I have dropped this mechanical pencil for several times but the leads are still intact.*

It looks chic for its price and many have already asked me whether it is an actual pen or if I could write well using it considering its size–it serves the purpose.

*You might want to try dropping it too for future reference and scientific purposes.


**not a sponsored post… merely reviewing small items before launching big posts XD

The Peculiars

The Peculiars

A Book Review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

by Jahzeel Dionne V. Ybasco

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“There are peculiars all over the world,” Miss P, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

 

Having a different world where diversity is tolerated and encouraged is a famous theme in the fantasy genre that it does not come as a surprise Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children reminds me of Harry Potter, Pendragon, and X-Men . Special beings mingling with normal humans, wise old people taking care of the young ones and passing on the legacy, protagonists having to live up to their peculiarity, their gifts, the nature of their powers–this formula contributes to MPHPC being a page-turner.

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Review: Eragon

THE VOICE OF ERAGON

An Analysis of Christopher Paolini’s novel, Eragon

by Jahzeel Dionne V. Ybasco

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That some books are inspired by other classic and more renowned books is nothing new to me. It is to be expected. As million books are published every day, it is not surprising that some have the same content, almost the same story, and even with the same characters garbed in a different attire and name. When I read professional and non-professional reviews on Eragon saying it is but a fanfiction of Lord of the Rings, it did not affect my desire to read the novel. After all, fanfictions are there for fans to enjoy. There are some readers who don’t get satisfied with how stories end and they resolve it by making up stories. A story about dragons and a fanfiction of a trilogy I really love made a perfect formula. I was excited to see what Paolini had cooked up. Or so I thought.

Eragon‘s likeness to Lord of the Rings is quite evident. Brom looks like Gandalf, a very inconsistent Gandalf. Sometimes he speaks like an old man, another, a rude old man. Eragon is a combination of a less sophisticated Legolas, an indecisive Aragon and a braver Frodo Baggins. Urgals have a resemblance to Uruk-hai. However, story-wise, the novel has a great potential. Every page of the novel has made me wonder if there is something more to being a Rider. Alas! I have to read the sequels to learn more.

What only bothers me is the consistency of the voices of the narrator and even the characters—it is irritating. In the first few pages, Eragon has made himself appear as a hero, in the next, a reluctant hero, and in the last pages, a love-sick hero. There are times when he and his dragon, Saphira, act like mother and son as presented in Saphira’s endearment “little one.” They act like lovers, too, as exemplified in the following lines:

I love you too.”

Then, I’ll bind you all the tighter.”

If it isn’t a combination of bestiality and S&M, I don’t know what to call it.

I have expected the blue dragon to speak in a language of the old, a dragon that has experienced a lot of things. There are some pages that give me the satisfaction to see this side of Saphira. It is disappointing to see her switching back to a bickering dragon. Perhaps comparing Saphira to other dragon-stereotypes is unfair but she does sound like a weakling to me. I have to consistently remind myself the novel has been entitled Eragon and not Saphira.

I also am waiting for the time when I can distinguish the language of the elves from the dwarves and from the human beings. Establishing their nuances is challenging particularly when there have been so many books that have already done-or attempted doing-that. However, LOTR‘s elf language is still different compared to the others. As a writer, Paolini can still improve that aspect of the novel.

It has been quite remarkable for a person that young to have published novels. I commend Paolini for that. However, with age comes maturity and experience. This brings another question to my mind. When should a writer stop editing his /her work? I have felt Paolini’s genius and inexperience in Eragon. Still, with the number of people he has been able to reach through his novel, and the growing number of those who want to read his novel, having people judge his work compared to other classic fantasy novels out there is inevitable. He cannot alter the story anymore. It is out there waiting to be devoured. What he can do is improve its language.

Will he?