Alice in Wonderland

All posts tagged Alice in Wonderland

Part 3: Did You Really Just Ask That?

Published February 19, 2016 by Ashley Townsend

Writing is an Art, I Tell You!

Part 3: Did You Really Just Ask That?

The only good excuse a writer has for delaying a blog post is because they were, well, writing. And I was, I promise! I was busying immersing myself in Serimone and working through the final three chapters of Defying Shadows (click here)—you know, that book I was supposed to finish months ago? Yeah. . . . But fret not, eager beavers! It’s going to be worth the wait.

Now, onto this weeks writing rant.

happy dance

Last time you learned all you could ever wish to know about writers block, and while deadlines and re-writes and copy-editing can sometimes be a very necessary drag in the writing process, there are some things that just burn the proverbial biscuits of every writer (inspired by conversations with authors over the past week).

Comments/Questions authors hate the most:

  1. Oh, you’re a writer. How cute.

mind

It’s not like I’m a professional panda hugger! (Although, dang, that job would be sweet) Whenever I hear this observation, yeah—no comment. . . . Which I see now is kind of a moot point after I commented, but we’re just going to ignore that fact for now.

  1. It’s been over a month. Are you finished with your novel yet?

for real

Oh, yes, please excuse my while I pull 400+ pages from the magical rear of the Story Unicorn, where every author stores their grand ideas that can be brought to life, macro and copy-edited, and produced in paperback in a solid 30 days.

  1. There isn’t really any money in writing, you know.

bonnet

Really? Oh, I had no idea! The only reason why I’d ever pour my soul out on a blank canvas is so that I could earn massive cash and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck. I’ll just call up Michelangelo and let him know we’ve been doing it wrong. . . . Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the general picture.

  1. How hard could it be?

testing

Considering there are a few thousand workshops and conferences each year, support groups, actual writer-themed chocolate and alcohol called “Writer’s Tears” to comfort you when you receive poor reviews, and ENTIRE boards and memes on Pinterest dedicated to the struggles of writing, I believe it’s safe to say that it can be a bit difficult at times.

  1. Can you just give me the summary of your little book so I don’t have to read it?

ron swanson

  1. Don’t you want a real job?

what

Yes, I have heard this before. I was very calm at the time, but let’s be honest, when you spend approximately 40,000 hours pouring every ounce of mental strength into a story that you alone created, completely draining yourself emotionally and depriving yourself of sleep for something that’s meaningful to you . . . Yes, it can be a little painful to hear that people believe what you do is sweet, too easy to be a career, or completely childish. Honestly, when did being creative mean that you weren’t an adult, or that productive imagination meant you weren’t mature? And how did daydreaming become a bad thing?! Some of the greatest minds in history were considered “creative” geniuses and dreamers. 

daydreaming

Some people are born with the creative gene, but so many of us have had to hone our creativity over the years, working day and night to produce something mediocre that we had to re-work again and again until we got it right. Because it was worth it.

Writing isn’t for the faint of heart, and I’m not just saying this post applies to authors alone; I can securely bet a stack of my books that at least half of you can relate to these crafty jabs in some way. And you know what I’m beginning to realize? It’s okay! I read this interesting quote the other day, and I’ll probably butcher it, but basically it said to keep doing whatever it is that makes you happy, even if others tell you that your effort is wasted or you’ll never be good enough: Passion and effort are never wasted when you’re working toward a goal that pleases God, and the harder it becomes, the more rewarding it will be in the end. So, find that niche that makes you happy and go for it. You might even surprise yourself!

 

 

 

 

Splintered Review

Published May 29, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

splintered pic

You know how much I love retellings of classic stories and fairytales, so I was pretty excited when I got “Splintered” from the library. It’s a very funky take on the original “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, with some crazy-wild twists thrown in that make “Splintered” very much the author’s own.

Inventiveness/Creativity: 9 (her admirable ability to wholly re-craft the story was what kept me pushing through to the end)

Overall Storyline: 7

Execution: 7 (this is a non-biased view of her actual ability, not my opinion of the story)

My Overall Interest: 5. I have to break it down into sub categories because I was a little    torn.

            Okay, first 200 pages: 8 for blow my mind creativity and a 6 for feeling detached from the actual story.

            Once Morpheous was introduced (next 100 pages): 9 for increased interest—I hate to say I kind of loved him—though the story had its ups and downs quite a bit after that (I know; I am completely dissecting the book).

            Ending: 4 Though it was technically a “happy” end where everything was tied up nicely, I was a little disappointed with how things were finalized. Call me a predictable sap, but I love perfect, even sometimes unrealistic endings.                It’s fantasy for a reason, people!

            Recommend: A one-time read, in my opinion.If you have other books to read, this one can definitely wait, unless you’re bored and just want some unique filler, then give it a go if you like funky and strange YA fantasy. But if you’re on a dystopian kick like I am, then maybe save this one for another time or read at your own discretion. (And now I remember why I usually steer clear of YA fantasy: What’s with the tongue kissing? Grodie!)

My take on it: Completely wild and crazy and unique as the story kicks off. Like I said, funky is the operative word.  Most of the creatures the author imagined are a little more grotesque (?) than the original fluffy white rabbit and almost cuddly, albeit blubberous, walrus and other creatures in Lewis’ tale and the Disney film, though I kind of liked that about it. But the good creatures and fairylike characters were fascinating and very inventive, and even the sometimes grodie creatures the author presented in the story to block Alyssa’s path were interesting, though at times they were a bit much. However, I loved the fact that our bad boy/childhood friend and Wonderland guide, Morpheous, was the Caterpillar-turned butterfly. He. Was. AWESOME! In, like, a crazy way. And I mean, Kuh-razy! He was ultimately what pushed me to finish the story. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the tale, but mostly I stuck it through because I admired the author’s ability to completely spin the idea and create a 100% unique backstory for generations of Wonderland characters, while also—technically—staying true to Lewis’ original tale. “Splintered” is a little dark, though it’s almost a juxtaposition to the brightness of the story, which I did like, though I think sometimes it got a little too strange for my liking. I know I’m going back and forth on my opinion of it, but this is how I felt reading the book. I wasn’t sure whether to be grossed out, roll my eyes, keep reading, drool over Morpheous, or applaud the author’s aplomb and finesse with such a crazy—dare I say strangely awesome?—storyline. I think I liked it more because I honestly was amazed and sometimes took a moment to marvel at the author’s craftiness. Praise for her talent aside, I can’t necessarily recommend this book, since I had to force myself a little bit to finish it—and Morpheous completely stabbed me in the back!—but if it sounds like something you’re interested in, don’t let my entirely confused and fickle review stop you!   

 

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