A piece of advice that I’ve happened upon many times in my internet searches of “how to write blog” can be summed up as “write as much as you can…don’t be afraid of failure or mistakes, otherwise you will never improve…you will never grow.”
I’ve always skimmed over this tip but never given it much thought, always writing for this blog what I thought others would surely enjoy, nothing that would be too risky.
However, I was thinking the other night, and realized this, that
If I’m ever to grow as a writer, I’ve got to embrace the concept of backlash, the prospect of defeat, and the idea of failure. Continue reading
I don’t just mean any old books.
Read Young Adult literature, because it helps us relate with one another. It reminds us that we are not young adults struggling by ourselves in a world that just doesn’t seem to sympathize or understand us, and that creepy men in their thirties know what strife we’re grappling with. Stories with happy endings give us hope, brightening the path to what now looks like a dismal future; meanwhile, stories where everything does not end up okay remind us that this world that we live in is imperfect. Not every loose end is tied, not every secret is revealed, and there are always many “what-ifs” left unanswered. But this genre of literature helps us angsty teens cope, situating its main characters and supporting characters in positions that feel familiar.
There’s rarely a time when I feel compelled to reread a book. The majority of fiction books that I have read in my recent years have been teen romance novels, as you would expect the stereotypical high school girl to read. Although I don’t often read for pleasure anymore, I try to make time during school breaks. But each time, it will be a new book that someone has recommended to me. In my opinion, there’s not usually a plausible reason to reread a book. I know the plot, it was “nice,” but I didn’t take much away from the book except for perhaps wishful thinking about boy behavior (I found out that I was woefully wrong).
But this book? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith? I’ve reread it time and time again, discovering something new every time. I’ve written about this before, but not particularly extensively. I think the concept to take away from my previous post can be summed up by the following:
They say that one of the best ways to understand a person as well as their morals and priorities is to read their favorite book. This book touches me because Francie’s character exemplifies how I would like to approach my problems, and the society that I grow up in. Since she first went to school, she’d wanted to be a writer. Her family was comprised of immigrants, and they had endured many hardships and economic struggles to rise out of the poverty that they had continually been confined to. The story follows her from her childhood to the beginning of her adulthood, and depicts changes in perspectives as she becomes continually more mature, and gets increasingly globalized in perspective. These changes build character. I take her personal revelations in consideration, accepting my ultimately infinitesimal role in society. Francie expressed a strong interest in writing, and the method that Betty Smith utilizes to explain why help spark my interest in literature as well. The lessons that I take from the book guide the way I deal with overarching problems.
I can reread this book over and over because it’s so different from the books that I have previously read. Because Francie grows up around 1900, there’s no phones or computers. All the character interaction is personal. Moreover, there’s very little romantic interaction. And even if it does occur, it does so between Francie’s parents, who, although relatively immature, didn’t have to deal with their young love in high school, where they had to worry about college or parents or something like that.
I feel as though rereading this book teaches me a new lesson every time. It seems as though if people made a conscious effort to take something away from a book’s plot besides the plot, which is quite shallow without much analysis, they would feel very enlightened reading a book like this.
The fact that this story takes place 100 years before the time period in which I currently live makes me feel nostalgic for a time that I’ve never encountered. I won’t claim that I regret technological developments that have occurred since then, but I abhor the social situation that technology has put us in. I long for a time where the social interactions were much more personal, where everyone was comfortable looking each other in the eye without feeling the need to grope for a phone.
Again, as previously mentioned, I enjoy rereading this book because of Francie’s personality. Following it evolve as she grows up, watching the temptation appear to her, observing her decisions and emotions, these all teach me how to it is possible for people to be humble, to accept who they are and to find a balance between being practical but passionate about something that inspires them.
The story itself is wonderful in itself; the book has five separate parts that follow different time periods not only in the life of Francie, but also her parents Katie and Johnny when they were young. No matter how outdated the book is, it will still be much more realistic than anything else that I’ve ever read.
I’ll come back to this book when I’m feeling lost in character and motivation. It will provide a comforting story with astoundingly profound underlying themes, guiding me on my way to college – and beyond.
She sits in a movie theatre and watches the main character die from the last row from the left most seat a tragic death that seems to shake the entire audience except her. The movie ends and she descends the steps one by one impassive stoic her face is dry. She comes back and sits in her bed She sits in the silence and watches another movie whose screen exists between pages of a book a spine whose binding is flimsy. sniffle sniffle She starts to cry for people she's never met whose faces she has never seen whose parents she has never met whose hands she has never held That's compassion for humanity. Her hands are bloody the skin are her nails is destroyed from stress and agitation. He holds them firmly and says I love you despite your flawed hands. hesitates, backtracks, and recants his words I love you for your flawless hands and your capricious emotions and the way you deal with your feels that your hands display the message receive the clemency. She goes back to the kitchen tea or coffee? glass or mug? pinky or no? Suddenly, she remembers the war Anguish and fury rush back to sting her Her hands are warm and she watches the color slowly disperse. Placidity counters the fury. Sympathy balances the anguish. Her hands are warm, but her heart is worn. Her mind is lethargic She lets it all go imagines it floating away this way that way out of sight, out of mind All of her efforts are spent wasted on impotence and structural barriers She wants to care, but she just can't afford to anymore. - inspired but not really much more aligned with the Daily Prompt
To be absorbed in a book
Is to turn off all senses
Besides the sense of sight
So that your eyes
May zigzag left to right Continue reading