Day Four: The Perils of Quotables

Phew, have done some excellent character creating today, including massive genealogies that I swear weren’t a waste of time. (Probably.) My problem is I see the scope of the world I am building way wider than is probably strictly necessary. Like I feel like I could write an encyclopedia on all the information I have on this world (I won’t say “made-up” here. I didn’t make up this world, I woke up to this world. It was there. Now I’m just trying to define it. It’s weird that they call it world building? The world is as solid as a wall–it just, thus far, only exists in my own head and the scribbles on my laptop.), in fact, in a way I sort of am.

So, I am feeling good about my progress. No narrative written this weekend, per say, but I have a very definite outline now and some really good character foundations to populate my world.

I took a little break today to find some new books to read due to aforementioned shunning at the library, and I found a very new-age, religious bookshop with a dinky shelf of Young Adult, but it was enough to get me by until I can sweet talk my way into a library card. Managed to pull some Artemis Fowl, Timora Pierce (at the recommendation of a good friend), and the start of the His Dark Materials Trilogy. It’s a pretty intense world out there of all these YA series. Its weird, but I want to read them all! What a strange genre, so many crazy diverse books all shelved together just because they seem like something a young person might read. (I am still shocked to find Zusak’s The Book Thief on there… just read that book a few months ago and it has nothing very “childish” in it other than that the protagonist is 12… the thing is literally narrated by Death.)

In a way it’s overwhelming and intimidatingly competitive to rack through these series, but then I see how so many are so successful. It’s the genre where you learn to love books–the same one that taught me how to love them–and so it’s all wildly exciting. It makes me feel like the possibilities in a genre like that are infinite. I could live the rest of my life in YA and never really worry about growing up. It’s not what I expected to write, but in a way it’s weirdly timeless and I’m happy to immerse myself in it.

However, equally captivating, albeit slightly easier to conquer, are these Quotables. Now, in case you don’t know, Quotables are essentially a print company taking really great, fantastic, idealistic quotes and making them into greeting cards and mugs and such. Man, this bookstore had tons of Quotables and I spent a quite a bit of time drowning in them in search of a birthday card for my mother.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that Quotables encapsulate perfectly exactly what is wrong/difficult/conflicting about my life. Now I personally love these quotes. I find them pretty beautiful and stark and wish I could tape them up all over my dry-wall bared apartment. But these damn things are full of these just horribly naive and simplistic aphorisms about how to live your life. They’re beautiful and succinct and make a great point (typically about following one’s passions or living the life one hopes to live although really you can find a Quotable about anything… you can even make your own on their site), but it’s as though just them telling me to do it is going to change everything… perhaps it just irks me because it’s a little bit… condescending?

It’s like i just want to scream at each inspirational or pedantic quote,

“Yes, I’m trying to, but it’s not that easy!”

Take the one I bought for my mother (Yes, of course I bought it. Do you know how hard it is to find an actual good greeting card these days? Impossible to none!)

(Also… no copyright issue, I hope?)

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It’s great. It’s wonderful. Mom is going to love it. But… it doesn’t actually apply to her.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s a fine line between saying how you’re going to live your life and actually living it that way.

People kind of think I’m crazy right now (sometimes me included)–giving up my life, my friends, a happy place to hole myself up in a partially abandoned apartment complex in order to write a book that may or may not suck and may or may not get published– but all I’m really trying to do is live my life like those Quotables tell me to.

Maybe that does make me crazy, but at least I’ll be the kind of crazy that looks great on a coffee mug.

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