oddloop

she opened her mouth to scream.
only flowers came out,
blossoming from her throat

(more…)

Advertisements

bookish thoughts

one of my new year’s resolutions is to express my reactions to the things i’ve read – whether it be through writing reviews on goodreads, verbally recommending books to others, or posting thoughts on this blog – since i’ve never been that great at pinpointing exactly what i liked or disliked about a book. so, two months into 2016, i’m making good on that promise!

last month i read vladimir nabokov’s pnin and loved it. i want to read it again before i give a full review, but in the meantime, i’m going to share my impressions (and show that this blog is still alive and well, haha).

“Pnin slowly walked under the solemn pines. The sky was dying. He did not believe in an autocratic God. He did believe, dimly, in a democracy of ghosts. The souls of the dead, perhaps, formed committees, and these, in continuous session, attended to the destinies of the quick.”

pnin feels more like a string of anecdotes rather than one continuous narrative, and follows a russian academic’s life at an american university. the whimsical diction and lengthy sentences are enchanting, and the story itself is full of ghosts. pnin’s personal history constantly haunts him throughout the novel; he’s followed by hundreds of people who move in and out of a lifetime of moments. the physical structures that exist within pnin are incredibly tangible, too. i watched pnin trying to create his home at waindell college or exploring the pines and felt as though i were the one filling my living space with russian memorabilia and carefully weaving through the ancient, beautiful vestiges within cook’s castle. for me, reading pnin was an immersive (and surprisingly relatable) experience – cruel, hilarious, warm, and nostalgic all at once.

also! here are some books on my ‘to read/finish’ list for march:

the castle, franz kafka – i began reading this last year and have somehow never finished it. i share an on-and-off relationship with this book; i’ve read it in little chunks of narrative since i first started it. k., the protagonist, tries to gain entry into a castle in which mysterious authority figures govern the village below. i want to finish this eventually, but if i remember correctly, k. was still circling hopelessly around the village where i left off last.

fight club, chuck palahniuk – currently reading. it’s been gut-wrenching and atavistic and violent so far, but also brilliantly technical when it comes to minute details. i’m really enjoying it right now, and i hope i can finish this soon!!

the little friend, donna tartt – i’m starting this today! after reading tartt’s the secret history (which i absolutely adored) last summer, i’m super excited to read the little friend, which is set in the american south in the 1970s. right now i’m also reading flannery o’conner’s wise blood for school, so i’m on the lookout for cultural and/or thematic parallels between the two books.

and then there were none, agatha christie – this has been on my ‘want to read’ list for so long, and i was finally able to get a copy of it (along with christie’s the murder of roger ackroyd and the mysterious affair at styles) at a garage sale, of all places! once i finish the little friend and fight club, i’ll probably read this next.

right now school takes up most of my time, and 2016 has been a whirlwind of tests and papers and sleeplessness so far, but i love it all. i’ve already learned and read and written so much in the past two months alone, and there’s still a wealth of knowledge that’s out there for me to absorb as my intellectual self grows. so here’s to a new year of books – of myriads of unread literature – waiting for us all to explore!

camp nano thoughts

two weeks ago, i randomly checked my inbox to find the following email at the top of the list.

Your creative retreat awaits.

it was a lovely surprise.

this year, camp nanowrimo will take place in april and july. if i decide to take part (and it’s likely that i will), this will be my second year and third time doing the camp version of nanowrimo. it will be even better than janowrimo, especially because it retains the same coziness and sense of community – “i’m not the only one!” – despite not being as official as the one in november. camp! cabins! s’mores! nature! writing! with flexibilities! (and of course, surreptitious forum-lurking.)

Welcome to the fourth year of Camp NaNoWriMo!

We first imagined Camp simply as an off-season alternative to National Novel Writing Month, but it’s evolved into much more than that: writers choose their own projects—from novel sequels to scripts to pop-up books—and find cabin communities (and often new friends) to support them.

We call it a retreat because you can write anything here, plus see what you’re capable of when you have the time and space to create.

Last year, we introduced flexible word-count goals (10,000 to 999,999) and the ability to add your own project genre. Our 2014 features are designed to make Camp even more open-ended:

Remodeled, ultra-hyphy cabins. Share your triumphs with more fellow writers: cabins now accommodate 12 campers. Worried that’ll be too much conversation to keep track of? We’ve also added @replies to the cabin message board. Set your preferences before March 25 to claim your bunk.

Full project-defining power. Now, you can select your genre and category. Working on a collection of swashbuckling tales? “Adventure Short Stories” will be shown on your profile. Writing presidential haikus? You can proudly display your choice of “Historical Poetry.” Create and edit your project here.

One-click access to the big world of Camp. Hanging with cabin mates is great, but there are about 20,000 other campers to meet, too. Find quick links to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter in your cabin and on the homepage.

A new T-shirt, a full stock of merchandise, and updated donation levels. The shirt is gorgeously candlelit, plus there’s a twig pen! And as always, we have an array of web and social media graphics to show your Camp spirit.

The writing starts on April 1, and we’ll have plenty more to share before then. For now, start thinking about what you’d like to work on. Remember: this is your creative retreat.

how awesome does that sound??

that email was a perfectly-timed reminder – coincidentally, my dream novel (whose first draft i completed during nanowrimo 2012) has been growing on me again. suddenly, there’s an outlining notebook open in front of me, and i’m focusing more on my characters and story arcs than on schoolwork (not exactly a good thing). i’m completely rewriting this story of mine (which from here will be referred to as ‘sans titre,’ fancy french for ‘untitled’), keeping only the cast and key plot points. i’m actually planning the novel this time so that i won’t deviate from my original goals or fall into writer’s block the way i had in nano ‘12 (which i pantsed).

i’m exhausted from school. i’m stressed about life. my first state standardized test is on the last day of march.

this will be a chance to write, and, more importantly, a chance to get away from all of that. (i don’t have my priorities straight, if you haven’t noticed already. oops.)

are you excited for this? i know i am!

-ktc

(by the way, i’m happy to report that I feel so much better today. c:)

 

janowrimo update (2) – productivity

i’ve been keeping a journal.

it’s one i started on january first. the gist of it is to write one line every day that summarizes whatever you did that day. these past entries have been rather dull, and are more about school than anything else.

today, however, was quite productive.

i’ve written several pages of my novel, and i like where it’s going so far. i think the eureka! moment was when i finally felt comfortable with a certain writing style (which in this case is first person pov, present tense). rereading some of my writing now, it actually sounds similar to how i write on this blog. i don’t drop all caps while writing by hand, though, because that would probably develop into an awful habit that i wouldn’t be able to break. whenever i read my posts here on citrusy, i always imagine myself whispering the words. that’s not what i’m aiming for in my novel, so sticking to the standard writing style works.

in other news, i also finished the majority of my assignments, worked on some of the pieces i’m going to compete with next week (for piano), and practiced baking lemon bars. my friend’s birthday is this tuesday! and we’re going to celebrate at school. birthdays are always super happy occasions. c:

-ktc

janowrimo

november is my favorite month of the year. can you guess why?

yep.

nanowrimo. it is the only month that i’m motivated enough to rush-write a novel (and spend the other eleven months editing it).

i recently fell into a writing slump (because of life problems and all that), which is the main reason why i started this blog…so i apologize for the low quality posts i’ve written so far. i just feel so tired; i wish i could just lay on the floor and sleep for three years, you know? though that’s impossible right now…

ANYWAY. i’ve decided to do nanowrimo this month, and hopefully climb out of this hole i’m in. six days late (and counting) – hurrah!

the rest of this month’s posts will consist of updates regarding janowrimo. i spent quite a bit of time this winter break outlining this project of mine, and i’ve decided to move to the next step. why wait till november?

is anyone else doing this? if so, message me. we can talk! about! writing! 😀 and maybe boost morale.

oh, and here’s some music. just, if you’re in the mood for piano. yeah.

-ktc