Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Wrap-Up

Books I Read

Doctor Who: The Stone Rose by Jacqueline Rayner


Oh, Tenrose, I've missed you so! The author of this book did a really excellent job capturing the voices of both the Doctor and Rose. However, you should definitely read this for the story alone and not so much the writing. That part was a little overly simplistic. The plot was compelling (though it did get a little dragged out and wonky toward the end, almost to the point where I skimmed a bit because I was too confused) and I loved getting to revisit my favorite characters from the show. There was a sense of nostalgia to it.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


God, that was depressing. I can't say I was bored, and the end took me by surprise, but it wasn't my favorite classic. I have a hard time reading or watching anything where an animal gets hurt, so I didn't exactly love this one. But I'm glad I read it, because it is a classic, and now I'll get way more pop culture references.

Movies I Watched

"Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life"


This was fun to take my little brother and our friends to with my movie theater employee discount. The whole thing felt like a Disney channel special.. It was fun, but not a work of art or anything like that. It had a nice plot twist toward the end of the movie, and good messages about public school education, but everything was very heavy-handed.

"Hamilton's America"


I LOVE LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA. It was so cool getting to see the process of the whole musical and the history behind it. My family ate a yummy brunch while watching it and quietly cried at a few parts into our cups of coffee. It was inspirational and a must-see for any "Hamilton" fan.



My dad and I saw the taped production with Benedict Cumberbatch, and I'm completely convinced he can do anything. Not only was his acting fantastic (as usual), but the contortions he put himself through for the first ten minutes of the play was INSANE. Even the way he spoke throughout the entire thing must have taken so much practice and energy. It was dark, creepy, and perfect for Halloween.

Quotes I Wrote

She cleaned up the blood, but nothing more. Staring at her pink skin, gaunt face, raccoon eyes, in the mirror, at the stranger who stared back, the gash fit. It would leave a silvery scar for sure, just like the others, except this one would be visible. This one she could catch in the reflection of a car window or bathroom mirror. This one could serve as a reminder.
    For what, though, Melody couldn't say. She also couldn’t say why she chose to use her wrinkled fingertips to grip the blade tighter and hack away at her hair until all that was left was a jagged bob, but she sliced through it like it was nothing, like nothing mattered.
The fresh cut on her cheek, her mangled hair, maybe they both served as reminders that she was not the same Melody who stumbled into Sterling just months ago. She entered a runaway and left an omen.
    All would learn to fear the sight of her, the girl heartbreak befriended and followed all across the country.
-'Til the Last Star Dies

“What’s going on, Amy?”
    Melody’s hostility shrank back into something resembling resignation. She felt several inches shorter. “I just need a place to start over.”
    “So what are you hiding from?” For all of Cal’s gruff southern accent, his tone was kind.
    He snorted a little. “Don’t tell me you’re that cliché.”
-'Til the Last Star Dies

The war was far from over, but defeat had to start somewhere.
    Lila sank to her knees in the mud and covered her face with her hands as she breathed through her mouth to minimize the stench of smoke in the air.
    She could go home tonight.
-'Til the Last Star Dies

Melody wanted to say something. No, she wanted to say everything. But she couldn't find the voice or the words that could explain away her actions or what she'd said. There was too much and it was impossible to describe exactly how Melody felt at this moment. Joy, anxiety, grief, anger, ecstasy, they all jumbled and blended and formed a new emotion Melody had yet to name.
    Maybe it was love. Maybe love was everything all at once, just in high definition, at full volume, until it consumed you whole.
-'Til the Last Star Dies

Have you ever tried to read something upside down? It looks like language, but you can't tell what any of it says. It's probably English, but you don't understand it.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm upside down. Sometimes I wonder if people know I'm there, that I'm human, but they just can't read me. So they give up reading and I'm left alone again.
You can turn writing right side up. You can't turn people.
-What's Easily Missed

Obsessions I Acquired

"The Good Place" - Kristen Bell takes quite the change from Veronica Mars, but she's so great in this show. It's quirky, unique, funny, and surprising all at once. The characters are all great for different reasons. I love the character Janet, who's a twist on the classic AI sort of Siri type. The show just makes you happy.

Picture of the Month 

I dressed up as Benedict Cumberbatch's version of Sherlock Holmes for Halloween, and my little brother was Mabel from "Gravity Falls." Genderbending, FTW!

How was your October?


Dr. Mark said...

Fun wrap-up as always.

I don't know if "Of Mice and Men" is the favorite book of many people. I think Steinbeck is incredibly depressing. Some call it "earthy." Sure, whatever. With that said, it is a classic and you are right--so many pop culture references will make more sense now.

I'm glad we could see Banana Comb Detach in Frankenstein. He was incredible. I didn't even make the Halloween connection until later. I was just happy to see him perform.

Great quotes. I'm always impressed by your writing, especially your dialogue. I liked the upside-down quote from your Nano endeavor. You're off to a good start. And I'm glad it's not THE upside down!

"The Good Place." Yep. That's been a nice addition to our lineup this year.

Love the picture of you and your brother. I never used to really like Halloween, but it's a lot of fun to enjoy it with all of you.

Carly said...

Hmm, I'm having to read Of Mice and Men soon for my English class. So far our books have been interesting, so I'm curious to find out what I'll think since I hear most people haven't enjoyed it as much as other classics.

I watched Hamilton's America as well! It was so interesting and I had all of my favorites on repeat for the past few days... although I think that's just a norm for me now. XD

You guys look great in your costumes! Funnily enough, I went as a fem!Darth Vader this year. :D

Jimmy said...

Of Mice and Men is not one of my favorites either, but one of my favorite scenes from any book is from Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. So there was something to him.

How is it that you guys know about stuff that I've never even heard of? Makes me feel like I live in a cave. The movies you mentioned--hadn't even heard of them.

Your writing is incredible. The part about love--it consumes you whole. Awesome stuff.

You and Max have both grown into young adults right before my computer screen. Hard to believe. Great picture, and I figured out what FTW means. I'm kind of proud of that.

Jimmy said...

One more thing--if you haven't already, read the dedication to East of Eden. I've never read the book, but I can't tell you how many times I've re-read that dedication. It sticks with you.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dr. Mark

Ha, I guess you could make an argument for it being "earthy." :P But yeah, I much prefer other classics.

Banana Comb Detach. xD He was great in that, and now I can't wait to see him in Sherlock S4 next year!

Thank you! I always say the dialogue is my favorite part to write. THE upside down would be a problem, especially considering magical creatures do exist in my NaNo world.

I still don't really get into all of the horror movie/creepy Halloween stuff, but the creative costumes are always fun. And the chocolate, of course.


I'm curious to hear what you think, too! Can we expect and opinion from you in one of your wrap-ups?

Ahhhhhh, it was so good!!!! Yeah, I don't think any of us really need an excuse to replay our favorites over and over again. xD

Thank you! I neeeeed pictures of you in your costume.


Maybe I'll have to give Steinbeck another try with a different story. People do really like him.

Well I definitely recommend "Hamilton's America" and "Frankenstein." Both were excellent! And lots of movies I've heard about lately have been because of working at a movie theater. :P

Thank you!

Time's passing fast for everybody, I think. Thanks!

I hadn't read it, but I looked it up after your comment. What a cool dedication! I love it when there's a note more than just "to so-and-so." It makes it more personal.

Boquinha said...

Great post!

Love this line: "Melody’s hostility shrank back into something resembling resignation."

And this one, too: "The war was far from over, but defeat had to start somewhere."

Boquinha said...

Oooh. Thanks, Jimmy, for telling us about that dedication. I just looked it up, too. Beautiful!

The Magic Violinist said...


Thanks! :) A lot of what I write for a first draft is inevitably going to end up scrapped, but the few quotes I like enough to share always stay.