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Friday, May 01, 2009

Literary Meme: 50 Bookish Facts About Me

Stella Mutatina had a post not too long ago about the very same thing and I thought I would steal it for my blog. Anyone wanting to do this for their blog is welcome to. Call it a meme or simply something random and entertaining to do! Here goes:
  1. My favorite book of all time is 1984 by George Orwell.
  2. I've finished one novel, which is posted here (called The World in the Satin Bag).
  3. I have two novels in the works, with another I abandoned long ago (a historical fiction novel set in WWII).
  4. I have more unfinished work than finished work, which proves that I'm a very bad writer indeed.
  5. I've read a lot more fantasy novels than I have science fiction, yet I talk more about the latter.  This is probably due to the fact that there isn't a lot of science fiction meant for young adults, so most of the genre reading I did when I was younger happened to be variations of horror (in the fantastic vein) and fantasy.
  6. I've slowly begun to find literary fiction more interesting, although not all of it and only pieces that have some sort of unreality to them (magical realism, or slightly strange stuff).
  7. I consider literary fiction that pays too much attention to its language to be the mark of a pompous writer.  Salman Rushdie would be a prime example of this, even though I wrote my senior paper on Midnight's Children (it was sort of unavoidable).
  8. If it isn't already obvious, I believe that science fiction and fantasy are the best genres of fiction in existence.  Period.  End of story.
  9. The Legend of Huma by Richard A. Knaak is the first full-length, high-fantasy novel I ever read and it also happens to be one of my favorites.
  10. I absolutely love books.  The result of this is that I have more books than I can possibly read unless I retire and spend the rest of my life reading, which won't happen for obvious reasons.
  11. There are few smells that I think are to die for.  Pne of them is that "new car" smell and the other is the smell some new books have (not all, obviously, since some smell like feces, but some smell so good they're addictive).
  12. I'm notoriously stubborn when it comes to my writing.  I'm working on it and improving, but I suppose the first step is admitting it.
  13. Someone very close to me who isn't just a friend loves books as much as I do, but reads far more than I do and makes me feel horribly guilty as a result.
  14. I have a stack of magazines (one of the ones from UC Santa Cruz) sitting on one of my bookshelves.  I intend to eventually bring it in to school to distribute, but I've been surprisingly lazy on that front.
  15. I rarely read books based on recommendation.  I'll often read them if I ask for a recommendation, but if someone simply tells me something is good, I'm not likely to get to it, at least not for a while.
  16. Referring to #15: I also will officially ban a book from my reading list if someone repeatedly pressures me to read it.  I cannot stand being pressured to read a book, because it ruins the reading experience for me.
  17. Referring to #15 and #16:  I will almost never read a book that gets a lot of hype (that I'm aware of).  This is why I probably never will read Twilight or the myriad of other super popular books out there.  I read Harry Potter because I liked the first movie, not because everyone said it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
  18. I think prose that is intentionally too simple is sh*tty prose.  Prose should never be too simple.
  19. Referring to #18:  Of course, I also hate prose that is intentionally overly complicated.  That's just as sh*tty as overly simple prose.
  20. I believe that books were handed down to mankind by a god (not a Abrahamic one or any god mankind currently knows about; I suspect it's a god that doesn't exist, which is far more interesting when you think about it).
  21. All the talk about reading declining and yadda yadda is a load of bullsh*t and the people who spout that nonsense know it.  Do your research; you'll know this just as well as I do as soon as you know the facts.
  22. I've read most of the Bible more than once even though I'm not religious.  Not sure why that matters, but thought it was worth mentioning.
  23. I have a giddy reaction when I get books in the mail that I didn't order (like when I've won books or a publisher has sent me one).
  24. Books with ragged-edged pages are my favorite.  They remind me of old books for some reason.
  25. I have a strange love for writing in third person present.  I don't know why, it's just fascinating.
  26. I happen to have twenty-one movies on my DVD rack that are adaptations of novels or short stories.  Granted, some of them are terrible adaptations, but that's besides the point.  If you want details, leave a comment.
  27. I have a really old mythology dictionary my grandma gave to me that is one of my most prized book possessions.  I hardly ever use it, but I love the thing so much.  It's just...old and wonderful and probably the best mythology dictionary/encyclopedia I've ever seen (I think it's primarily Greek and Roman, though).
  28. I have ten college readers that are non-returnable and non-resellable because they are printed by the college and not re-used...ever.  Some of them I will find uses for in graduate school, others will eventually be recycled when I have the guts to get rid of them.
  29. Last year I was a judge for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards in the novel category.  It was an awesome experience and I hope to do it again one day.
  30. I am co-owner of a website for young writers called Young Writers Online (.net).  It's meant primarily for teenagers and college-age writers and just about anyone can join.
  31. Referring to #30:  We also have our own magazine called Survival By Storytelling, which will have its first issue out hopefully in the next few months, barring disaster.  It's a magazine that is publishing fiction and poetry by authors 25 and under, with the exception of commissioned work from established authors (we have a few articles coming in the first issue from some good folks I know).
  32. Referring to #31:  Some of the best speculative short stories I have ever read will be in that first issue.  I'm really proud of it and our contributors.
  33. There will eventually be a law in every state that will not allow me to enter bookstores unless I am accompanied by an adult.  There's a reason for this, but I won't go into it here.
  34. Sometimes UC Santa Cruz gives away loads of books.  I've found some interesting things in there.  One of my favorite finds was basically all advertisements, but the adverts were for really fascinating books on a variety of literature subjects.  It was awesome.
  35. One of my favorite movies and guilty pleasures is Total Recall, which was loosely based off a Philip K. Dick short story.
  36. Referring to #35:  Philip K. Dick is one of my favorite authors.
  37. Referring to #36:  I took an independent study course on Philip K. Dick and loved it.
  38. I have applied twice to the Squaw Valley Writer's Workshop and been rejected both times.
  39. On a more happy note, I have received two honorable mentions in the Writers of the Future Contest in 2008.
  40. I love bargain shopping for books.
  41. I want to have my very own library one day (you know, the kind with those rolling ladders and what not).
  42. Referring to #41:  I want that library to be the biggest library in the world, and also the most beautiful, with its very own staff of librarians.  Clearly this is a dream that will never come true, but I'll dream anyway.
  43. I like graphic novels, although I haven't read any new ones recently.
  44. Referring to #43:  I would love to have the opportunity to review graphic novels, but I suspect that's something I won't get to do.
  45. I have a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy that attempts to do something with colonialism or postcolonialism.  It's just interesting to see what authors are doing with those concepts and with those histories.
  46. I've written one complete script for a 10 minute pilot webisode.  It was for a geek comedy back when geek comedies had yet to become cool.  Sadly it never took off.
  47. I have been blogging for almost three years.  That's crazy, don't you think?
  48. I recently found out that one of the members of Young Writers Online has had all of her books, games, manga, and anime taken from her, in addition to her MacBook, all by her mother.  The reason?  Because her mother believes that her daughter should live in the real world now, and that said member's writing is nothing more than a delusional escape from reality, yadda yadda.  Needless to say I am pissed off and think that said member should probably revolt.  What else does she have to lose?  She's had everything else stripped from her:  she can't write, she can't read books unless they're on a school approved list, and she can't enjoy herself anymore.  Mother Nazi strikes again...
  49. The universe is actually a book.  I know because a pen told me.
  50. And to end this, I'll say my reading tastes have drastically changed in the last six months.  This has a lot to do with the things I've been reading for school and elsewhere and I think I'm either becoming more "literary" in tastes or just more sophisticated.  Literary is really the wrong word, though, because it implies something that I really don't me.
There you have it! Fifty bookish facts about me. What about you? What are some bookish facts about you? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. I'm glad you decided to do this! Great big lists are interesting to begin with, but great big lists of bookish facts take the cake.

  2. Agreed. I'm certainly a fan of bookish facts :P.