For the Courage of Those From Bergerac

I have been meaning to write this several times. Mostly when I am nowhere near a computer. I am not physically perfect. Now, I have never been “physically perfect” in any definition of the phrase. In the past year, I have become more “socially acceptable” I guess you could say, but the amount of curves I have is not the thing I am self-conscious about. For the past six or seven years, I have avoided eye contact as much as possible. Most people took it as a mark of shyness (maybe) or even a lack of confidence (in the worst of times, this could also be said as true). At these times, I want to draw strength from the greatest misfit of all…the great Cyrano de Bergerac.

I had been wanting to talk/write about Cyrano for a while now, but I never had time. Last year, I saw the same production of the play about six times (I currently usher at a playhouse Cyrano de Bergerac was one of the plays). It gave me plenty thoughts on the subjects. Mainly about love and the characters and how is it possible for words to be held down by gravity. In January, I was diagnosed with an eye condition that made one of my eyes not dilate as much as the other (also it an eye condition that is normally found in people a lot older than me). This lead to that eye being dilated for the entire month of February. Needless to say, I felt like a freak. I felt like people would care about something as simple as two eyes not being the same size. I know that they don’t care as much as I think they care, but that is not how I feel. I feel like the anomaly (no matter how small) is the only thing that people can see.

I wish I was as clever as Cyrano. Or at least as good at poetry. Cyrano has had years to work on his confidence (or panache) from the constant comments on his nose. By the time we see him in the play, he is about middle-aged. So, he is in his regular routine. Someone makes a comment on his nose, and he either insults or kills them. Now, I don’t want to take it to that extreme. I just want to have the ability to walk around with the thing that makes me special without having that thing control my intentions. I want to let everyone know that I can look people into the eye now. It was probably stupid to avoid eye contact as much as I did (to be honest I thought I had a cooler condition and should have given more eye contact). He just seems so confident even though you know it hides all of the emotional scars from his family life and “dating” life. He lives for the fight which is something I never hope to have to do. Even though both of these things are there, he has courage to even walk the streets even if he knows people will talk about his nose. I think that is why he becomes such a good sword fighter. If they talk about my fighting, they won’t talk about my nose. If they talk about my work, they won’t have time to look deep enough into my eyes to see the problem.

I have talk to about three people this year about how I feel about my eyes. They are probably all bored of hearing about how they hurt and all of the implications. I just needed to write this to get it out there. By the way, I am going to try live my life with no intentions of being killed by a log to the head.

Books of 2013

Okay, it is almost New Year’s Day. A majority of the experts have released the best book lists. These are all books which were released in 2013. Unfortunately for the world, I did not read a lot of books which are released in 2013 because books cost money, and library waits are long. I have read a couple of books this year. Okay, I have read more than a couple. So, I wanted to let the world know about my top books that I had read this year were. Maybe, this will be the final push for someone to read one of these books. I will try to avoid spoilers. It will be divided into three lists. Top Books will consist of six books which are new books that blew me away this year. Honorable Mentions will be five books and are still important in some way; Old Favorites will be four books which I reread for one reason or another.

Case for “Bad” Books

Note: The word “bad” is reference to the plot development or character development. It has no ethical meaning and is not related to the contents of the book. When that sort of thing happens, it is an all around coincidence. 

GK Chesterton wrote in Heretics, “A good novel tells the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells the truth about its author. It does much more than that, it tells us the truth about its readers.”

Recently, Goodreads had an infographic with 5 modern and 5 classic books that people normally are discarded. Also, Goodreads wanted to find out what makes people put down a book. A majority of the people seem to give up on a book after 50 pages. I personally think that 50 pages are not enough to decide whether or not I like a book. I want to see if the author can pull the book together and save his/herself. I do not think that this is a flaw. Most people seem to think this is so. The 50 page limit seems a little harsh for me. In my copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the fiftieth page is in the middle of chapter six. There is only one of the three familiar antics of Tom in the first 50 pages.

Do not get me wrong. I love reading good books. I love books that have a plot with well-developed characters. Yet once in a while, I chose a really bad novel where the two things above are missing. There are those books where I get 50 pages in and want to quit because the author is ruining everything.These books are frustrating and I want to send the copy back to the library (FIY: When I experiment with books for fun, I always use the library. It saves a lot of money in the end). Yet, I just have this urge to finish the book no matter how bad the book is. This summer, I read Irene Iddesleigh. The author Amanda Ros has the unique title of being the world’s worst author. Here is a sample. “Such were a few remarks of Irene as she paced the beach of limited freedom, alone and unprotected. Sympathy can wound the breast of trodden patience,- it hath no rival to insure the feelings we possess, save that of sorrow.” That is in the first chapter, and there are a whole lot more. What is the truth about the author? She might try too hard. Here is the inside cover of the book:

irene-iddesleigh

While reading the book, it was hilarious to look at the outlandish language and be confused over the plot. Yet in the end, there was the satisfaction of closing the book and picking  up another book. I appreciated the next author’s work so much more after I had the encounter with this book. That is the case. How are you ever supposed to appreciate the good if you never experience the bad? Sounds like a metaphor for life.

Aside

The Stolen Child

So, I have not been writing for a while. I know that the point of the blog is to tell anecdotes about the day or helpful hints. Yet, all I seem to do is post quotes. Yet, today is a special treat. I read my entire life. Yet, there is one poem that really got me interested in reading literature. So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I will be presenting a poem from one of Ireland’s favorite sons. Yeats is one of my favorite poets. This poem really got me interested in the complexities of  writing. This is the thing that made me want to at least do something with English.  The Stolen Child