Since I left for Singapore, I had not been able to write. Not one thing. Not even a blog (the last one was written before leaving for SG and was only published when we got back with minor alteration). Not even a blog about Arashi (which is like not breathing for Storm-riders like myself).
Losing momentum has always been my greatest adversary. I can keep on something for days without fail, being a one-track minded person that I am (comes with being obsessive). However, I am also attention-deficit. As soon as some irresistible force hits this immovable brain, my focus gets knocked off course.
And that Singapore trip was a big irresistible force.
On the other hand, because of the long wait at the medical exam I got before leaving for Singapore, I had started reading books again. And as of this writing, I am on my fourth for the month. In 2010, I only read one book, Hunger Game's second book, Catching Fire. I had borrowed Fandom Cafe's copy (which is still with me, btw, *facepalm*) because we were covering the launch of it's third installment, Mockingjay (which I still haven't read). Oh hey, that's anoher immovable thing knocked off course. A year before that, 2009, I read the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, only because Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana) left us without electricity for 48 hours, and with flooded streets that kept us from going outside.
So acutally finishing three books within a month was a surprise even to me.
After struggling to get past chapter 3 in 2008, and slowly getting through the pages as the years went by, I am finally done with the book and now, one cannot tell me that I didn't even try. Three years. To be fair, once you get to the baseball game chapter, it gets quite riveting from there on. Though, I still question, if they were so afraid of James overhearing their mobile-phone conversations, because he has keen senses, why didn't they just texted each other? My housemate said -- it's because they're stupid. It's really hard to suspend disbelief while reading this piece. Before, I was just nitpicking on her syntax and writing style. Now, I'm entirely sure, she wasn't sure what she was really writing about. The first 2/3 of the book wasn't going anywhere, while the last third, suddenly takes a turn to a path that does not even extend from the main road. All characters were two-dimensional, except Alice and James. Which bothers me, because, those two didn't even do anything until the last 3/4 of the book. Not good for a writer's brain.
I know, by now, you've heard a hundred-thousand and one complaints about the Twilight saga, and much better complaints than mine, so I'm not going to dwell on this one.
Would I read the sequels. Probably not. I'm not even sure I'd want to see the movies. I saw the first movie, and all throughout the one and a half hour, I thought I was watching a comedy feature. I read the first book for two reasons -- (1) I wanted to be sure I was attracted to Kristen Stewart and not the character*; and (2) I wanted to be sure Edward wasn't annoying (yeah, I give the benefit of the doubt away a lot). People were right, Bella was more annoying in the book, and calling Edward "annoying" is seriously an understatement.
And in my own tiny world -- I don't think Stephenie Meyer gets the whole "Tsundere" concept. Does this make me a bonified member of the hatedom, now?
THE OXFORD MURDERS
It's Numb3rs in England, printed. I'm not sure if I like it, however, I don't hate it. Maybe, because I didn't quite understand it. There were too many Math terms. And here I was reading it. I, who could barely multiply without a calculator or using my fingers. So skip the math parts, unless you truly understand it, and just follow the story. The story is interesting. I couldn't say the twist was unpredictable, as at one point, or two, I actually thought about it. The only flaw in Guillermo Martinez's plotting is ther were too little misdirection or red herring. So, in the big reveal, I just thought, "huh." I think Kamikaze Girls had more red herring. Maybe they should have given Oxford Murders some. I hear, red herrings are quite tasty. XD (Incidentally, I always thought that Red Herring is actually a person's name until I started researching about Kamikaze Girls -- stupid Hot Shots!)
But, I've got to give it to Guillermo Martínez. He wrote the book with easily understandable and straight-forward word structure, so even airheads, like myself, would be able to finish the book without suffering from sever nosebleed. No theorem or corollary was ever discussed to the point of almost proving it. He mentioned a lot of theorems, but he left it to the readers if they'd be interested in knowing more about them. No spoon-feeding here. AND I did not skip the math parts. Although, I still don't get what "M |<3 8" stands for, but I don't intend to google it -- personal choice. I just don't care enough to study it a bit more.
To me Oxford Murders felt like a Vicente Manansala painting: straight lines, transparent themes, but as a whole -- complicated. (Oh my, I haven't mentioned Manansala since 2008.)
Woud I read it again? No. I'm actually giving the book to a friend. Would I recommend it? I am GIVING it away, aren't I? Would I watch the movie? I am trying to get a copy now. But, then again, it stars Elijah Wood and the first reason why I picked up the book was because Elijah Wood was on the cover of a copy I found at Powerbooks.
MY IMAGINARY EX
I'm not used to these kinds of books, so I can't say anything about the style or the plotting. Sure, I tried reading a Tagalog Romance Novela once, and it was actually interesting. However, my pretentious classmates frowned upon the experiment and I had to run back to the protection of Sweet Valley High. In defiance, I never picked up a book from Sweet Romance or Love Story series that they worship so much. Whenever I passed by National Bookstore, I'd pick up a book from that section randomly, check the synopsys at the back, read the excerpt on the first page, and lie to my friends that I've actually read it. I have never read that Love Story book. Not even that one about the Filipino guy. No apologies.
When I first saw this, I had no idea that I knew the writer. LOL. The title tickled me, and got me interested. After reading the synopsis at the back, got me almost hooked, I have a lot of secrets of my own, even one that mirrors My Imaginary Ex. But, I never really picked it up until I decided to write again. Let's just say I'm fangirling over Mina V. Esguerra right now, because our age aren't too far apart, but she's an accomplished writer with a following and acts really mature, while I'm just a pudgy little girl dreaming. She also has this gorgeous husband (LOL) who almost writes like Frank Herbert, who won at a writing competition the year I competed as well. Granted, my short story sucks, and I'm not prolific enough to be published. Seeing the two publish their own books, along with the inspiration of Rocky's extensive blogs and Tanya's prodding, I made a firm decision, I'm going back to writing.
So, what was that about lying? Yeah, I lied about something in my past. There's ONE thing in my history that isn't true. Everything else is real. Including the lie about Sweet Dreams and Love Story books -- those are two lies I've told and carried with me for so many years. Of course, I'm not telling how long, then it'd be obvious. But, everything else about me, they're real.
So, it's obvious why I can relate to this book. I didn't need to suspend my disbelief. I knew everything in that book was possible. EVERYTHING. Except, maybe, the thing about the two ex-girlfriends. To me, it sounded contrived, but that's because I've never met any of my Ex's ex-girlfriends/boyfriends. Neither have my Exes bonded together over hating me. They hate me alone in their lonesome selves. But, everything else, I can relate. Even that locking them up in a room together thing. Only, my friends never went through with that threat. They should have. They're all bark, no bite ... which I count as my loss. I should have gone Jasmine and took matters to my hand. If I did, would I have gotten my Zac?' Unfortunately, I played the Zac role. Imagine that.
Would I read it again? Maybe, if I've gone through all the books I have at home and I'm goingn to wait for five hours in some facility again. Would I recommend it? I did, when I got to the office. I think most girls would thoroughly enjoy it. Would I buy another book? Yeah, next payday, I'm going to get No Strings Attached. Which is funny, because, again, I can relate. I think I've said that phrase too many of times from 2005-2008. And because I want to see if, yet again, I'm going to relate to the male character or finally find myself in the female character's being.
And we end this entry with a quote from Stephanie Meyer (which is slightly irrelevant) when she found out someone leaked the first 13 chapters of "Midnight Sun":
"If I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James would probably win and all the Cullens would die, which wouldn't dovetail too well with the original story. In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working..."
I would have paid to read THAT book.