Tag Archives: writing

This is Not Goodbye

If you  read the title and are now disappointed, I’m sorry (I think). This blog has all along been a year-long project for my AP Language and Composition class where we had to blog three times a week, just about every week, 300 words minimum. If you think I posted that frequently just because I felt like it, you’re a crazy person. When we started blogging it seemed like it was going to be really hard to come up with something to say about books every week. However, I managed my time accordingly and got it done. I really actually have enjoyed blogging a lot more than I thought I would, and that’s why I say this isn’t goodbye. There are two ways that this blog could go, and over time I will probably determine (along with your opinion, dear reader) which way I would like it to go.

Option 1: I think I have written about this before but I would like to change the title of my blog from ‘Always Reading’ to ‘Always’ and then have different categories like ‘Always Reading’ to write about books, ‘Always Watching’ to write about movies, or ‘Always Living’ to write about life. This would make the topics on my blog broader and more open to a wider audience of readers, which sounds pretty exciting. It would give me the chance to blog more frequently and be a little more active in the blogging world. Who knows where that might take me? I just wouldn’t want to commit to this and then find that I have nothing to say.

Option 2: I would keep the blog just as it is and just write about books whenever I finish them. I don’t have a lot going on this summer so I would really like to do as much reading as possible. There are a large number of book blogs out there but what makes them great is that they are all so different.  This, however, would make my posting schedule really infrequent as certain books take a longer time than others (and watching Hulu can become pretty addicting).

These are the options that I am torn between. I will be posting soon about a book I just read called Inventing English by Seth Lerer. After that we will see where blogging takes me. Feel free to comment below on what you think I should do. After all you are the people that read my blog, and you should probably have some say on what you read.

Allusions

You know when you’re watching your favorite show or listening to the newest song on the radio, and something is said that we understand, but only would’ve been understood if we had read a book or learned something in class? That may be a long description but there is one word that sums this phenomena up- allusion. Dictionary.com defines it as “a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication” or “the act or practice of making a casual or indirect reference to something.” Allusions make us feel educated and accomplished. For example, in a song by country artist Luke Bryan called ‘That’s My Kinda Night’, he mentions Conway and T-Paine. Now, if you have never heard of these artists or their music, you wouldn’t understand their purpose in the song. Bryan uses allusion in his song to make it show more of his personality and interests, this example showing his preference in music when taking a girl out. Sometimes you need to understand an allusion to understand what is going on, you need the context of it to get the rest. Allusions are used to express the artist or make them more understandable. When we understand allusions, it shows that we are educated and are capable of learning. For example, I took AP world history last year and now I understand so much more about the world and the history behind it. I can listen to songs and read books and get what’s going on. This may be pushing the boundaries of allusion but it is still helpful to the reader or listener. So, basically, stay in school if you want to understand and be able to comprehend songs, books, and even movies. You are missing out until you strive to unlock allusions.

Pen Names

Authors throughout time have used pen names to keep their identity a secret or to make the reader’s focus more on the book and less on the person writing it. For example, Mark Twain, a well-known American writer, was born Samuel Clemens. He changed his name after working on a steamboat along the Mississippi River in Missouri. He actually gets the name ‘Mark Twain’ from a type of measurement that was used on the boats called a ‘twain’, which people would mark, hence his new name. His life on the river was very important to him and this is evident through his name change. Another reason writers change their names is because they are actually women looking to make it in the literary world. George Eliot, the author of Middlemarch, was actually Mary Ann Evans, born in England during the 1800s, who wanted people to take her work seriously. During that time, men had all the power and authority so it was only logical to take the name of a man. J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the Harry Potter series used the initial of her name Joanne, and made up the ‘K’ as she did not have a middle name. This was all done because she believed boys at the time wouldn’t want to read a book about magic written by a woman. Authors also use pen names to heighten the story they are telling and to make it more believable. I Am Number Four, a science-fiction novel about aliens (that description doesn’t do it justice, it is actually a very intriguing story) is written by Pittacus Lore. In the story, Lore is the ruler of the place where the aliens originate, Lorien. James Frey and Jobie Hughes are the actual authors, but props to them for incorporating more of the book to be apart of the reader’s imagination and the story overall. I also used to read a book as a child called The Name of This Book is Secret, written by Pseudonymous Bosch. The actual author of the series is still disputed. Dictionary.com defines ‘pseudonymous’ as “bearing a false or fictitious name.” Relates pretty well, doesn’t it? ‘Bosch’ may come from the artist Hieronymous Bosch, who is actually one of my favorites. Overall, authors use pen names for all sorts of reasons and some of those reasons can be quite interesting once you get to researching them.

Handwriting

Handwriting is one of those things that makes a person completely unique. Everyone’s is different and special. However, in the age of technology, we could be losing aspects of ourselves that define who we are. Handwriting has historically been a sign of gender, patience, and even occupation. Boys are notorious for having illegible handwriting, whereas girls are known for perfect penmanship (but not all of us put hearts instead of dots on our “i’s”). However, some people cross these boundaries, because I have seen some guys have beautiful, fully readable handwriting. If you have the time, your handwriting will be nice and neat; however, if you are rushed, the words are all slurred together and hard to read. Doctors are big names when it comes to illegible writing: everyone has made a joke to their friend with the bad handwriting that they should look into the medical field. Along with that note, signatures are unique and important and there are many ways to make it your own, especially through cursive. I remember when we were learning cursive in third grade and we were told that that’s all we would use during high school (which ended up being a total lie). When writing essays, handwriting can make or break your grade. If the teacher can’t read it, they probably won’t give you an A+, even if it is what you deserve. For some reason, every year I like to switch up the way I write my letters. In previous years I would write an “a” how it looks when typed, but now I write it without the top hook. My “g” never looked how it was typed (I don’t think anyone does that) and now the way it looks reminds me of graffiti. The way I write makes my handwriting exclusive, something I can call all my own. With the introduction of computers and cell phones, we have a universal, electronic handwriting. Sure, you can choose different, snazzy fonts that add character, but nothing like handwriting on notebook paper does. I fear that someday, future generations will only use keyboards to write, losing the ability to pick up a pencil and develop a handwriting that makes them individual from the rest. To me, this will be a sad day. I know people that can no longer read cursive, when will come the day where they can’t read handwriting because they are used to text on a computer screen? Personally, I think more essays should be written rather than typed. It adds character and incorporates the personality of the author. You can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting, and hopefully we won’t reach a time where we can’t write anymore.

Celebrity Autobiographies

This is a topic I feel that we as a society need to address: why does every celebrity think they need to write an autobiography about their childhood and their rise to fame? Like, I know you’re famous and you must have a fan-base if you are taking the time to write a book about your life, but sometimes it’s just not necessary. Half of the people that write them are ones I’ve never even heard of. It’s like it’s trendy to do among the celebrities or something. Most of the autobiographies being written now are either by dubbing actors and actresses who are barely out of high school or old ones that no one remembers or cares about anymore. Examples are Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Vanilla Ice. These people are still very young and have a lot of life ahead of them so for them to write a memoir when they did is kind of ridiculous. Also, some celebrities write autobiographical sequels, as if their life story was too much to fit in one book. Maybe it is a marketing gimmick so they can make more money, not like they need to. Whatever the case, I’m sure there are celebrity autobiographies that would be better to read. People who have lived a long time and are well-known figures in society or have done good things, people like Michael J. Fox or Malala Yousafzai. Others like Tina Fey and Oprah Winfrey would probably be pretty interesting as well. There are also well known classic writers that have written autobiographies like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Virginia Woolf. These are the autobiographies would should be reading and supporting. I think we will continue to see autobiographies written by undeserving famous people but we will probably continue to read them. Our society is centered around fame and it’s not something we can easily give up.

The Age of Distraction

We are in the age of distraction. Long ago are the days of sitting contentedly with your family around the fire listening to a radio show, or reading your favorite book in one sitting. Everything and anything is vying for our attention nowadays and its becoming harder to pull away from it all. Now I’m not just saying this because I’m experiencing a lack of motivation to do my homework so I’ve resorted to eating chips and guacamole and reading blogs. It’s just something I have stumbled across. And the worst part is, we want to be distracted. We find new things to distract us, whether it be social media (which it mostly is) or any of the limitless things you can do on the gloriousness that is the internet. I hate the feeling of being distracted, I feel out of tune with my surroundings and it gets to be almost uncontrollable. All I’m saying is, we need to tune out of distraction and tune into focus. We need to focus on the people around us or the tasks at hand, and we need to stop getting distracted by the newest thing out there because its going to change our lives, because NEWSFLASH-it’s not. Lack of motivation leads to distractedness which in turn leads to nothing getting done whatsoever. I’m experiencing this firsthand at the moment. I’m even distracting you right now, I have you on my blog thinking I’m going to be talking about books when really, I’m just rambling about my life. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m allowed to deviate once in a while. So if you take anything away from this, let it be that you need to start tuning into life and tuning out distractions that make it so hard to focus in a world that is teeming with them.