Books, Books and More Books!


In the words of the magnificent wordsmith, Dr. Nick Riviera: “Hi, everybody!” The week has just begun (er, well it began yesterday if you want to be pedantic), but lookie what I have scored!

  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  • War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  • A Room with a View by  E.M. Forster
  • The Withered Arm and Other Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy

Six books courtesy of my English teachers, all because they were clearing out their cupboard and apparently these books are too old. My immediate reaction was pfft, too old? That’s the best thing about books! Only, the little monkeys in my head were just the ones who heard that — like I’m actually gonna talk back to my teachers… ;n;

Anyway, they’re not the kind of books I would pick out first in a pile but you know what? I’m taking this as divine intervention and just read them all when I can. You know what they say: YOLO, carpe diem and all that jazz. Personally, I can’t wait until I can get my claws into War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. Apparently he’s the father of steampunk?

Mood music: my OLDIES playlist over at Spotify.

Over and out.

On Prose and Female Characters


I have planned to spend this afternoon working on Maths equations, but screw it — I want to talk literature.

In preparation for the A2 English Literature that I shall be taking next school year if I get the grades (*fingers crossed*), all potential students have been advised to choose whatever books they want to study (at least two, but preferred three) from the Canon and otherwise finish reading them over the summer holidays. And, being the person that I am, I absolutely had no idea what to choose — I desperately wanted to work with one of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, but a little part of me wanted to be “taken seriously” as a literature student and so I ended up with:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (chosen by my English teacher)
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I’ve finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale quite a while ago, and I found it enjoyable once I managed to get into the story. I had spent the first half of the book annotating like mad, I barely enjoyed the novel for its narrative until near the end. I’m reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles and as I’m well into Phase Five, I can safely say that I’ve found some similarities between the two books.

One, there’s the format — both books are split into separate sections. Two, there’s utterly depressing aura radiating from the text itself. Three, there’s the clear helplessness within the female characters.

And it infuriates the living daylights out of me.

Yes, I know I ought to search for something positive and focus on that instead… but I simply can’t bring myself to — at least, not unless I forget about Gilead’s treatment towards women, its double standards and complete backwardness when it comes to rebuilding the population. Moira was one of my favorite characters throughout, yet once I found out that she betrayed her beliefs by working at Jezebel’s, I was ready to take out a tub of ice cream and just wallow.

In Tess of the D’Urbervilles, how on earth can I ignore Tess and her complete reliance on Angel Clare? He is a hypocrite who refused to forgive Tess for her past indiscretions, despite having the same situation as her! Admittedly,  I still have the rest of the novel to read through but, if I’m honest, I’m finding it very difficult to see the two lovers in good lights at the moment. They somehow remind me of Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, but at least those two had the decency to admit to their selfishness and just be plain mean to other people.

Tess absolutely adores Angel; she bloody well idolizes him and I can’t help but think that Hey, this can’t be healthy. Has she never seen Twilight?? (That’s a joke, if you can’t tell.) While I can’t blame her for having to go through what he did, I do blame her for putting Angel on such a high pedestal. Do you know that bit where he was sleep-walking and he carried her into a coffin? Tess admitted to not being afraid at all! If anything else, she liked being to close to Angel.

IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE WIRES IN YOUR BRAIN? HE’S PLACED YOU IN A COFFIN! If that’s not going to convince you, Tess, understand that he’s doing it in his sleep! His subconscious wanted you dead! Once you had revealed your past, the Tess he once knew was dead to him — and you still enjoyed his sleep-kisses. I’m sticking by my opinion of Angel being a hypocrite, by the way.

I sincerely hope this novel can redeem itself to me… there’s still the odd two hundred pages to comb through. In the end, Wuthering Heights “redeemed itself” when the second generation found happiness despite the faults of the first generation. I suppose what I’m looking for in Tess is some form of a happy ending… and that’s really a wrong mindset to be in, now that I think about it. Not all stories have happy endings.

But still. Is it too much to ask for Tess to grow a pair and stop being the victim in everything? (Or am I essentially asking a penguin to fly?) I have no idea.

Moving on, I’d like to end this post on a lighter note. After all, what spurred me to type this post up was the sight of this beautiful, beautiful quote:

To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name.

John Watson on Irene Adler

It’s a very striking first sentence. I must admit that two whole novels (A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four) and two short stories (A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League) into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work, I seem to find his prose enjoyable. Before, I struggled with his choice of words and seemingly random succession of scenes; now, I whiz through it like a pro. I could take this as a sign that perhaps my quarrel with Tess will be resolved in time, but then again…

…I have no problems with Sherlock’s and John’s characters, nor do I dislike Hardy’s prose style. It’s Tess herself that I have a problem with. Oh dear.

Over and out.

Wrocking and Trocking


No, these are not the names of dwarfs, believe me.

Before I can go crazy and gush about how awesome WROCK and TROCK are, let me first explain what they are about.

Wrock, short for Wizard Rock, is an indie music movement in which people write and perform songs inspired by the Harry Potter book series. It is a growing fandom within a fandom, with hundreds of bands around the world, many of whom tour and produce CDs. Wizard rock began as a Myspace phenomenon, but it is receiving recognition as a legitimate genre that spans all styles of music.

Trock, short for Time Lord Rock,

is a wave of music started by YouTube partner Nerimon and his band Chameleon Circuit. Styles of music can vary from hard-rock to acoustic, but the underlying theme is the adventures of Doctor Who, or, most recently, the Tenth Doctor, as portrated by David Tennant.
Trock is a musical wave similar to Wizard Rock and mirrors the idea that fans of the series can create musical fusion in their bedrooms with just a guitar or keyboard, and then post it on YouTube.

Source: urbandictionary.com

Too long, didn’t read? Bottom line: while they are not officially a genre of music yet, they are definitely a part of the fandoms just like conventions and fan art and fan fiction. This is fan music.

I discovered wrock before trock and fell in love with The Ministry of Magic. They’re music remind me of some kind of techno/pop/dance fusion except, of course, the songs are about Harry Potter… though, there are some songs that are so vague they can be “normal” songs. Ha, but the Pottergeek in me just can’t help but see it as a Harry Potter fan song. I mean, I already do see Harry Potter references in “normal” songs given the fangirl that I am, so yeah.

It’s a lost cause.

Trock, on the other hand, took some time to take a hold on me. Personally, I blame the fact that I listened to the wrong bands. Now? I’m currently listening to Chameleon Circuit, specifically “Kiss The Girl” — really, how can you not like the line “monkeys, monkeys, monkeys…” It’s so random if Continue reading

Feb29th Post: The Day in the Life of the One Called Me


You may or may not know, but apart from the fact that it’s an additional day to the month, February 29 is significant to a lot of people. Those who have access to the internet, particularly, and of those mostly are bloggers. (Here’s to hoping that Sherlock’s blogger, Dr. John Watson, will partake in this event as well.)

To read more about the Feb29th, follow this link. The passage below is my contribution. Please read it with the voice of a slightly sarcastic, dry and better-than-thou viewpoint — to be fair, I am in the middle of watching the first season of House M.D., so the doctor’s personality has seeped off to me.

I blame osmosis, and therefore science.

Technically it’s still the 28th, but seeing as I’m going to be busy the whole day tomorrow with school and various relating works therein (homework, projects, playing nice-nice with teachers and classmates), I might as well get this over with.

On the 29th, as I’ve stated above, I’m going to be in school. I’ll (hopefully, if I remember to set the alarm) wake up at 7, be ready to leave by 8 and start lessons properly by 9. I’ll have English class first and talk about Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’, then I’ll have Statistics class and learn about Regression, whatever that is.

Break time is when I’ll settle myself in the Common Room and sneakily eat some sort of snack while I check my Facebook messages, Twitter updates and blog stats — and my email, if I have enough time.

After break I will have to endure an hour’s worth of Media class, where I’ll be subjected to talking about zombies and how interesting it is to make a film about them. Yay me. Good thing after that I have a solid block of Private Study, where I can read to my heart’s content… oh wait, don’t I have an interview after 12?

Yes. Yes, I do.

I think I’ll have to skip the latter half of Private Study, gather my things and casually stroll out through the school gates (with permission from the Higher Authorities, of course). I’ll most probably buy something to-go for lunch, but after that it’s free reign.

With the interview done, homework somewhat attempted and a research data compilation put off for the next day, I’m ready to actually start my day: Tumblin’ my way through the Sherlock, Harry Potter and Doctor Who fandom.

This is the life of the average me. A teenager. Female. Likes to call herself a nerd, but really it’s just the current label she’s obsessed about. Three years ago it was emo. Now? She’s just obsessing over male protagonists with high cheekbones.

Ginny Weasley, The Defense Of


I was reading an article a couple of nights ago about Ginny Weasley not being the right one for the Boy Who Lived, Chosen One, Guy Who Offed The One With No Nose et cetera, et cetera… Well, after reading it I was so hyped up about it that I *cough* casually wrote up this response instead of finishing up that research assignment I had due the next day.

Oh, but no worries. I finished that assignment in time! After I had searched within myself and found a means by which I could express my thoughts on the Harry/Ginny shipping. Cue the online rant!

I know there are a lot of people who hate Ginny — I think there are more Ginny haters than there are Ginny lovers, but either way I can see where each side of the competition is coming from. However, I really do believe that Harry belongs with GinnyIt’s what Rowling wanted, isn’t it?

Yes, she wasn’t featured much in the books. But the books are not a love story — one of the main themes might be love and its power to conquer evil, but it’s not a love story with mushy dates and passionate snog sessions. It’s about other things: love of friends, of family… of redemption, loss of innocence.

It could be argued that Hermione would go very well with Harry. I honestly think that this is just strongly influenced by the films; you can’t deny that Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have strong chemistry, and it doesn’t help that Yates is a Harmony shipper and disliked Hinny (I know, ridiculous ship name XD), but still Hermione chose Ron. Ron made her happy, not Harry. Besides, I think Harry would go bonkers with Hermione’s nagging and Hermione would drive herself mad with Harry’s roller coaster moods.

Hermione might have been there for Harry for all the hard times, but it wasn’t her who was able to put him in place when he was acting like a prat in OotP. Ginny did. Hermione simply didn’t understand how to get to him, no matter how much she tried.

Another argument is the possibility of Harry being pared with another character such as Cho or Luna. Well, Cho was a disaster, hung up as she was with Cedric. I can’t blame her for that since I do think she felt something for Harry; the timing was just wrong for the two of them. Harry wasn’t emotionally mature yet when they were dating, and she was still grieving. If they hadn’t dated in 5th year then perhaps something could have happenedafter the two of them got over their demons. Still, Cedric is still too big a factor to consider, though it could work since Angelina and George had Fred’s death to bind them along with their friendship. (I don’t mean to sound harsh, but it’s true.)

As for Luna, she’s more like the spiritual friend for Harry than anything. They both could see Thestrals and she helped him accept Sirius’ death, but Harry is too grounded a person to actually develop anything with Luna beyond their friendship. They went on a date, but that was just as friends. It shows how comfortable they are with each other, knowing that they could do on a dinner date without either of them confusing the situation as more than anything than friends going to a party together.

Just because Ginny was not mentioned in the books very much, doesn’t mean her personality is not right for Harry. There were many indirect characterizations through Harry’s experience with her family as well. Rowling herself made is so that Harry and Ginny were the only ones that Voldemort had possessed, binding them together. Ginny had won that Quidditch match against Cho, a symbolism of her being a better match for Harry. She might not be as smart as Hermione, but Harry isn’t looking for braniac intelligence for a match, just someone who can handle being with him when he’s in one of his moods. As for any inspiring advice, wasn’t it Ginny who said “…anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve?”

So yeah, I don’t mind the odd Harry/other character shipping every once in a while, but at heart I’m a strong Harry/Ginny shipper. They’re canon, and it’s slightly disrespectful to go against the author, don’t you think?

This was probably messy and my points were everywhere all at once, but in my defense it was written late at night and… yeah. That’s all I have. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, of course, but this is my view on the shipping.

Link to my favorite -- well, my only -- Harry/Ginny fanfiction website

The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson


Eva Ibbotson has been on of my favorite authors as a young teen; I remember borrowing (and loving) The Secret Countess and A Company of Swans from a friend, and from then on Ibbotson has been right up there with J. K. Rowling — and believe me, for a Potterhead like me, that’s a high honour.

Anyway, I could go on about finding a copy of The Morning Gift in the school library completely by accident, seeing the familiar cover and immediately going to the front desk to check the book out so that I could re-acquaint myself with the novel, but what I really want this post to be about (apart from procrastinating for an English Lit. essay that I have to write) is the love story between Quin and Ruth.

Quin is a college professor and he first met Ruth as a child in Vienna. Years later when the threat of Hitler forced Ruth’s family to emigrate out of the country, Ruth is left behind with only Quin to help her. Complications arise and in the end Quin decides to marry Ruth in order to safely get her out of the country and into England, his homeland. By marrying her, Ruth is therefore becomes an English citizen.

It all seems to be straightforward, doesn’t it? Ruth spends time with Quin,s he falls in love with him and he falls in love with her… but there’s this annoying little tick in the form of Heini, Ruth’s childhood sweetheart. He’s a piano virtuoso and can be very irritating (you know how artists can be… such divas!).

Now, I fully understand that some characters have a role to play. Only a couple weeks ago my English Lit. class has covered Vladimir Propp’s theory on stock characters, and I can totally see Heini as The False Hero. Or The Villain, but that sounds more like Verna Plackett with her quest to gain Quin’s attention and be his wife. Moving back to Heini and his relationship with Ruth, I just can’t wrap my head around how on earth a sweet, intelligent and somewhat otherworldly girl like Ruth could ever see Heini — selfish, self-centered, pig-headed — as someone she truly loves.

I know love is blind and everything, but come on! The guy refuses to pay rent, even though money was scarce. He spends waaay too long in the bathroom, and he bosses Ruth around like an assistant! That isn’t the way a man treats his amour!

*takes a deep breath*

But I understand — really, I do. Heini’s role in the story was to set Ruth on her way to Quin. After arriving in England, Ruth and Quin didn’t act like a newly married couple. They barely acted like they were friends, to be honest. Quin returned to his teaching job, which coincidentally had Ruth as a student. This part was kind of exciting with the prospect of forbidden love and everything, though Ruth and Quin being married made it all legal.

As time passed, Quin began to see Ruth as the woman she was, not the silly little girl he met in Vienna; he has fallen in love with her. Of course, Ruth was still as silly as ever, but throughout the story you could see her transition from girl to woman. Anyway, when Heini wanted to really “make her a woman”, awkward situations arose and Ruth ran to Quin’s open arms — figuratively speaking, that is. Ruth now understood why she wasn’t able to be with Heini: it was because she didn’t love him. How could she? He wasn’t right for her… that git.

The story progressed on from there, though what really interested me was the gradual progression from “family friends” to “lovers” that Ruth and Quin’s relationship evolved into. I won’t say that it was all very romantic, for the knowledge that WWII was looming over their horizons and the effect it had on the characters provided a sense of heaviness. I suppose it’s simply the romantic school girl in me, but there were some parts of the book that I absolutely swooned over. In chapter 25, for example, Quin said to Ruth, “What I’m going to do now, is kiss you.”

The context, of course, was that Ruth wanted a divorce in order to be with Heini. She was hysterical about it, and I knew that deep in her subconsciousness she never really loved Heini. That’s why she’s making excuses for her behavior — specifically, as my more modern peers would so eloquently phrase it, “not putting out.” But the way Quin took charge, it was so… Anyway, Ruth, suffice to say, admitted her love for him. How could she not? There’s a whole hero complex going on: falling in love with her savior and all that rot, yeah?

So there you have it, a story of a middle-aged bachelor and a young woman falling in love after they get married. A bit twisted, but there you go. Love is blind after all, isn’t it?

The Morning Gift is a wonderful read, and it was enchanting to be able to re-read it again. It’s really surprising what a few years can make, because I remember reading the book for the first time two, three years ago… I remember being swept by the love story then, and not to say that I wasn’t swept by the love story now but with the few nuggets of information I’ve gained from experience and my English Lit. classes (hey, I’m actually learning!!), I realize I have approached the book from a completely different viewpoint.

Twilight In A Few Words


To all those Twi-hard out there, have you ever wished there was a condensed version of the stories? Having this love/hate relationship with the series, that thought did cross my mind a couple of times. I want to re-read the books so that I can justify to people why I like/dislike them, but I can’t seem to get off my backside and re-read all four books. (Don’t ask how I know, but apparently there are 2,358 pages altogether… -_-‘)

Anyway, as I trolled around internet I stumbled upon this link, and lo and behold! there is a Dr. Seuss version of Twilight. And by ‘Twilight’ I mean the first book, not the entire series. Such a shame, if I’m honest. I would love to “read” until Breaking Dawn.

Twilight, by Dr. Seuss

Jake likes a girl. Her name is Bella.
Bella likes a different fella.

See this vamp? This is Ed.
Ed is pale. Ed is dead.

Ed saved Bella from a van.
Ed must be a special man.

Ed won’t kill boys. He won’t kill girls.
Ed gets fed on deer and squirrels.

This is James. He’s a tracker.
He’s a sort of vamp attacker.

James hunts Bella for a thrill.
Will Ed kill him? Yes, he will.

But James gave her a little bite.
Will she be a vamp? She might!

Edward fixes Bella’s cut.
She won’t be a vampire.
But…

She becomes one. Read some more.
She’s a vampire in book 4.

Disclaimer: Clearly, I do not own this Dr. Seuss version of Twilight… “unicycle” does. No copyright infringement intended.

Pride and Prejudice: Mr Darcy’s First Proposal


Burn, Darcy. Burn!

So we finally covered Mr Darcy’s proposal in English Literature class and let’s just say that as the teacher read the passage, I was mouthing the words and hearing in my mind the swoon-worthy tone of Matthew Macfadyen. I am aware that there are other Mr Darcys out there, though I know the 2004 movie adaptation is far from being the most accurate to the novel, I still think Macfadyen wins as the ‘top Darcy’ simply because of his voice.

Oh, and the passion between their characters! It’s just so… ohmigoshsogreat, y’know?? It completely takes my breath away. And then I thought about my third* favourite Darcy, and how Colin Firth managed to make you feel sorry for him even though he insults Elizabeth so thoroughly. In the 1996 television version, I absolutely love the proposal scene because not only does it stay true to the novel, but Ehle’s coldness was how I imagined Elizabeth to react.

Though Keira Knightley was great and everything, I felt the scene was dramatised too much. I mean, c’mon! The prophetic fallacy? The raining? It get’s old, man. Besides, Ehle’s Elizabeth was strong, and she didn’t nearly kiss Darcy in the heat of passion… unlike Knightley. ^_^

Moving on to the other interpretations of Darcy’s proposal, I came across the 1940s film Continue reading

5 Books I Wish I Brought With Me


Moving across the globe can be a tricky thing, and while I am not regretting the decision to move from sunny, humid Philippines to the cold, overcast England, there’s still a part of me wishing I could merge my life there to my life here. I’m not selfish enough to imagine I could pick my friends and family from their lives and dump them in Jolly Old England (Uncle Joe, haha), so instead I am going to write about the books I wish I had brought with me.

Book #1 is Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett

I’m supposed to be researching for one of my English essays (the role of women in Elizabethan society), but the very first website I went to mentioned Thomas More and I was suddenly reminded of the wonderful books I read a year or so ago. Yes, that book’s title was Portrait of an Unknown Woman. That book instilled some culture in me, let me tell you. Every time Bennett mentioned a painting, I rushed to the nearest computer and searched it up. Ahh, good times… good times.

Book #2 is the Inheritance Trilogy by Christopher Paolini

Yes, I am aware that the series isn’t called the ‘Inheritance Trilogy’ any more, but seeing as I don’t have a copy of the fourth instalment Inheritance,  I am refraining from referring to the ‘Inheritance Cycle’. Make sense? Not really? Too bad. I can’t wait to get my hands on Inheritance, by the way. And that only makes me crave for its predecessors even more. *insert sad face here*

Book #3 is Vampire Darcy’s Desire by Regina Jeffers

Reading Pride and Prejudice for my English Literature class is making me nostalgic for two of my guilty pleasures: vampires and fan fiction. The former is obvious enough to need no explanation, but the latter… well, I suppose Jeffers’ work is far from the typo-filled works of tweens on the internet, but it’s still based from a well-known author. Ergo, it is fan fiction.

Book #4 is Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

It’s one of my favourite classic novels. ‘Nuff said. I watched the new remake  with Mia Wasikowski and fell absolutely in love.

Lastly, Book #5 is Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

This is kinda cheating since I don’t technically have my own copy of this book. I borrowed it from a friend, and let’s just say I wish I owned it so I can read my favourite parts again and again and again. And again. It’s simply one of those stories that you can never get tired of. Much like The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.

So those are the 5 Books I Wish I Brought With Me, because no matter how many times I could praise my Kindle, it is still no comparison to having an actual book in your hands: the flipping of pages, the dusty smell of an old book, or the scent of a new one… *sigh* Gotta love books, eh?

Oh, It’s the 31st of October


You know what that means… *waggles eyebrows*

Happy Halloween!

This day is a very important day because, apart from Halloween, it symbolises a couple more things for me. Take the death of James and Lily Potter. As a Harry Potter fan, I feel obligated to mourn their deaths and celebrate it at the same time, because that led to the inevitability of Harry’s destiny…

On to happier things, October 31st is also the day my friends and I have planned to go bowling. It’s been about four or five months since I went bowling, so yay! for me. Also, it’s been a while since I’ve met up with most of my friends given that it’s currently the half-term holidays for my school. (Don’t get me started on the load of homework I have to do… erg.)

Oh, and I suppose the end of October welcomes the beginning of November… and guess what that means?

NaNoWriMo!!

As of this moment, there are only twelve hours to go before it’s officially time to begin writing my so-called novel. I’m excited and thrilled and all the other words in the thesaurus, but later on I know I’ll be freaking out like a maniac: What on earth convinced me that this was a great idea? What have I gotten myself into?! Things like that ;D

But, oh well. I’ve begun this journey and there’s no stopping me. M’kay?!