Thursday, May 21, 2009

Amazing Writing Music

I've finally realized what music I like to have playing while I'm writing. I don't even remember how long ago it was that iTunes had a free download of Ludovico Einaudi's song "Andare" from his album Divenire. I like to download things that I might like, so I got this one. Piano has never been my favorite and it was a little slow for my liking at first, but then I started to really like it. Particularly as background music to staring out the window. . .

I've been interested in so much new music lately, though, that I didn't buy the entire CD until last week. Friday, actually. And I have one word to describe it: amazing. Each note carries so much weight that you can be fully focused on the music and not notice time passing by (and it's a pretty long CD.) The depth of every sound brings your mind to such a capability of thought. I guess you could say it's "stirring" music.

I think "Andare" is still my favorite track, but that's probably also because I'm more familiar with it. I've written a lot of things to its wonderful tune. But that wasn't always the best thing to do, since it's only seven minutes long and most things take a little longer than seven minutes to write. Now that I have the entire CD, I can wait much longer before I have to start it over. In fact, it's playing right now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Few Thoughts

I didn't feel like reading Stephenie Meyer's The Host until just recently. It just didn't seem to appeal to me (though I can say the same for Twilight), but when I heard about the first anniversary of its publication a little while ago, I decided to look into it some more. I'd read the prologue on Stephenie's site, but this time, I read some of Chapter 4 (which is the other sample she gives.) I had to know more about these characters, simple as that, so I went out and bought the book that weekend.

I finished it in five days, about a week ago. One thing I just have to like about it is that it takes place, for the most part, in Arizona. It's just wonderful to see someone else who loves it here, as well. In honor of this, I photographed the book outside. I couldn't choose which picture I liked best, so here are my two favorites. The second one really makes the already-creepy cover look even creepier. . .

A quick rundown of the plot: Earth is taken over by "souls" that live like parasites in the "host" bodies of humans. There are a still some people left resisting them, including Melanie, who is captured and given as the host for Wanderer. Melanie won't give up control of her mind, though, and she makes Wanderer love the same things she does, so they go in search of the resistance.

There's something about Stephenie Meyer that's going to make me keep up with her writing, whatever the plot summaries are. She does something with a person's internal mind that's very addictive. With The Host, she considers the idea of identity. How much of what a person is like is his choice? How much is just the way he's designed? What can you change and what is inevitable?

That said, it was an interesting read. I especially liked the last bit, with Wanderer's decision. Here's another thing about Stephenie: she can show a character who makes a choice he or she believes in entirely as the right thing, but it's a choice that can be questioned. A choice that you want to disagree with, but may not be able to say whether it's right or wrong. In any case, I'm happy with the final ending and would be fine with just letting it stay that way. But if The Host ends up being a trilogy. . . well, I'd keep reading, but the book is complete enough in itself, it seems.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Word of the Week 3: Inexplicable

Inexplicable (adj) - not explicable; incapable of being accounted for or explained

I kind of like this word just as much as "delirious," but it's harder to pronounce. I always seem to get tangled up in it, so I don't use it as often. But it's still an intriguing word.

It's one I can relate to. Sometimes, words don't seem to have much flavor. We use them without really having a connection to the word itself. But this one, I can see its perspective. It stands for all those things that I instantly love, though I don't know why. A worn and broken doll in an antique store, a certain rock on the side of the path. Or the desert. Very inexplicable, on the outside, to love the desert. But then not so unlikely. The desert has such a strong presence that it demands a reaction. You can either love it or hate it. Since I live here, I've chosen to love it. And that's one thing I can't really call inexplicable. I think Arizona is beautiful. But that beauty itself is what's inexplicable. Why is a thorny plant under an oven-sun beautiful?

Just because it is. You can explain about admiring its strength or such, but why does that mean that it's beautiful? Feelings can be very inexplicable. They just are.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Heathcliff is a Rochester

To continue with "The Rochester Character," here's the next character to add to the bunch: Heathcliff from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Although I don't have too many particular feelings for Mr. Heathcliff besides a little pity, I do love his name. It's short to say, long to spell, a stand out among other characters, and it has a nice natural influence. But on to our comparison.

Heathcliff, like Rochester and Higgins, is also changeable and moody. But he's darkly so. He's always sinister, even when acting kind. Most of the time, his quick changes in mood are when he figures out how he can manipulate the people around him to suit his plans for revenge and ruining everyone's life. Happy person. That pessimism links him closely to Rochester, who broods over his past, then broods over losing his only hope in Jane. But Rochester only broods, Heathcliff acts with vehemence.

Though it's odd: I think of Heathcliff as having a naturally good center hidden somewhere inside of all his evil and Rochester as having a naturally hard and dark center inside his attempts to overshadow it. Which in the end, he does manage to do, thanks to Jane for "showing him the light." Going back to that pity I have for Heathcliff, I don't think he ever really wanted to do wrong. But he had no one. He had an adopted family that didn't like him much. He had a friend that he loved who was forsaking him for a passing (and rich) fancy of hers. It killed the good in him. It makes me wonder what Heathcliff would've been like if he had chosen differently. He threw himself so entirely into his evil purpose that I'd like to see that force put into a good purpose.

I said that the good in him was killed, but it wasn't entirely taken away, all the same. This is why I see him with a good center: even in all his darkness, he still remembers Cathy so tenderly. He tries to gouge out his heart, but it's still there. Which is similar to how Rochester simply despairs without Jane, but still loves her and is able to continue on with her so easily when she does come back.