John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1) Book Review


This book is probably the most entertaining and FUN book I have read. . . in a decade. I genuinely had a really good time reading the majority of the book. So much so that the few scenes that weren’t riveting had that consequence — of being smushed in between some really interesting stuff and thus became way more boring then they would be if they were in another book.

Cover of "John Dies at the End"

Cover of John Dies at the End


Interpretations will vary, but for me, where this book thematically goes well is in the realm of Meta. What a book is and what a writer’s powers are becomes really clear when you read something so . . . absurd. This book heavily plays with the fact that whatever the author writes becomes very real to the reader. Even if it isn’t likely to happen. Plot holes, dialogues, and images that are extremely psychedelic just make sense in this Universe. Even it is as retarded as a half gorilla half crab. Retarded being a descriptor of the self-deprecating MC. . .

. . .Who’s voice I love. Yeah he has a curious plot twist but that’s not actually why he is interesting. He is interesting because he is very. . . real. This book really takes advantage of first pov when it has a MC with a really distinct 21st century young voice. Though I loved some of the puns (“Anybody else want to donate blood to chair-ity?”) this book was more. . . fun than funny. And a lot of the “fun” of it was the MC’s really casual voice. I would also argue that it is the casual voice that makes the horror so striking. Because you don’t expect this every-man to be as dark as he is.

So yeah, this is horror. I wouldn’t argue it isn’t. There are some images and ideas in here that reached to my fundamental fears and phobias — like Cockroach Man and people in your TV — but the real horror comes from the things that will last. The big ideas, y’know? Like, I’m always going to wonder about Todd now. It is deep in my subconscious.

Some other Theism/Free Will/Hell ideas were discussed. But Vonnegut and Anne Rice did it better. I guess that isn’t fair, but I read too many Vonnegut books that really spine-shaking deconstruct fee will (and same with Anne Rice and Heaven/Hell) for me to give this book its props. It was there but there were a lot of other things going on too in this book. For these themes and ideas to really take hold it needs more space. That’s my take.

Though I have some other critiques most of it I can really just push under the rug and still give this book five stars. I had a lot of fun reading it and I really appreciate all the risks Wong took in writing such a unique story. Yeah other books discuss similar big themes but whatever. That’s a vague similarity. I would be really surprised to read anything that is like this book unless this book IS the inspiration. Vonnegut is the closest thing but the Voices are way different. A key lesson to new writers to find and master your voice.

I’m ranting but I get like that when I get this excited.
This book in brief: Fun and casual but at the same time spilled-oil dark.

This Book Is Full of Spiders (John Dies at the End, #2) Review


I have decided I will rate this book five stars because I don’t want to punish if for being the sequel to a favorite. That This Book is Full of Spiderssaid, if the only way to evaluate this book was comparing it to John Dies #1 it would have an entirely different rating.

The Good Stuff: 
This book continues to have a fun and engaging plot and voice. It is fully entertaining and. . . like I said, fun. It might sound shallow, but reading is supposed to be enjoyable, and this is a by-far enjoyable read. The writing is strong not because of flowery-prose but because the MC is pronounced. It is mostly written from David’s POV and that is not just indicated with pronouns but with the characterization of every description. I really respect that. When it shifts POV it isn’t so strong, which disappointed me, but I really did appreciate the character development of the other secondary characters. It was right on. I also thought a lot of the plot points in this story were very sharp. The author combines modern warfare tactics like drones with a supernatural apocalypse scenario which was very believable. He also combines modern technology and Internet hysteria in his discussion of the apocalypse. His contemporary discussions had to be a step ahead of the cliche because the cliche doesn’t live in the modern times. I appreciated this innovation.

The Bad Stuff:
It is mostly shallow, like an action movie. It is really entertaining and I love it for that but John Dies #1 had meat behind it and this book basically didn’t. There were some moments of this book where I stopped to think and philosophize but most of the time it was just meaningless action. It didn’t have the harsh bite that the first one had behind the plot. The nihilistic horror came up a couple of times and I loved those parts but they were segmented. It didn’t drive the story.

Also, besides being in the same universe and following the same absurd metaphysics, this book really isn’t a sequel. There were a lot of huge questions left unanswered in book one. On one hand, if all the questions were answered it would lose a lot of the horror. On the other, shouldn’t the confusions at least be addressed in the sequel? They didn’t even have to answer them. There was only one quick dialogue between [Carlos/Amy/Dave] that seemed to hint on the truth-about-Dave that was revealed in book one but it was really ambiguous and like three lines.

Fault in Our Stars: Review/Discussion


The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars (Photo credit: TheNerdDilettante)

Let’s get the crying discussion out-of-the-way.
A book isn’t good because it made you cry. I understand that the significance of that is really ambiguous. But yes, I have been crying for the past few days, while reading this book, and I fully expect to cry for a few more days. And then, if the books does fall out of my consciousness I still will be crying because I’m stumbling over some personal battles. The crying is more about me then someone else’s story. But expressing this really human/mortal experience that triggers this emotional prolonged emotional response is why ‘crying’ is used as a way to say this book is really good. Because it is inflicting a pain that’s so human.

‘Cancer Book’ Discussion 
That pain isn’t cancer. I wouldn’t say that writing a sad cancer story is hard. Most creative content about cancer is sad but not all of it is as dynamic as Fault in Our Stars. The depth of this pain that the reader goes through is what makes this book intelligent. This depth exists for two reasons.
One: The writing of this book is phenomenal, on a contemporary masterpiece level. Yes, I know “Young Adult” and all but listen to me, long confusing prose isn’t what defines a literary masterpiece. A literary masterpiece is a book with a strong point of view, the MC Hazel Grace was engrained in every plot point, every description, every thought plop, and the plot itself was engrossing, and the relationships grew and shrunk and were divulged and shown in full complexity, and even the secondary characters were expressed with full dimensionality and growth and blabla, I could rant on and on from a writing POV on why this is a good book —
— but who gives a fuck about that.

Two: This book is a new favorite because of something way more emotional and potent then anything you can learn in a creative writing class.
I said that the pain isn’t cancer but that doesn’t mean I fully believe this isn’t a cancer book. I understand the metaphorical significance of cancer but disregarding the non-metaphorical, non-romantic, non-emotionally painful, actual concrete plot-driven experiences that Hazel Grace and her lover Augustus Water experiences is the kind of thing that would cause Hazel Grace to roll her eyes at you. Yeah, there is metaphorical weight to cancer but her pain came from a very real and physical place, as was many components of the plot, so I disagree with saying this book isn’t a cancer book. It is a cancer book. It also has headfuckery that goes beyond the physical consequences of a tumor.
The Personal Stuff
I think by now you understand my 5-star review thing. Cool. If you haven’t read it and just wanted a review then please leave now and go grab it from your library and commence on your own literary self-destruction and revel in it. If you have read it and feel like I do, vacant and alone in a world of vacant and alone bodies, and want to attempt to connect with someone then I’m about to divulge some parts that connected with me….
I know I love. I know I love my boyfriend, and parents, and friends, and art, and all the life in the future, even if it is going to hurt, and all the other lives around me, even if I’m shy, and even myself, even when I’m dark, and this book is the reminder that it is all going to pass. It isn’t the only reminder but I almost shut some of those morbid thoughts out of my head. And reading this book was like my first loved one’s funeral, that first realization, that everyone that I love will die. That I have three choices in the world: mourn a loved one, be mourned for, or die with that loved one. That’s the situation that scalps me.
But this book is far from nihilistic. We might all die and end up in a ditch and end up forgotten in the long-term but who cares about the long term. The mortal points of our life are filled with so much significance that it might as well be infinite because it would take an infinite quantity of time to recognize what all these emotions and experiences really are, really mean.
That’s what makes it worth it. We aren’t grenades ready to blow each other up. Pain is worth the moments alive with each other, the love that we share with each other, that pain is a byproduct of living, we can’t avoid it, so we might as well feel pain for those that are worth it, and that’s why we need to love. That’s why the romance in this book, from lover to love, to parent to lover, to friend to friend, is all so fucking real.
It is like this:
Dear my lovers:

I love you so much that I will mourn for you. I could mourn for someone else but you are worth it. You are worth the pain of mourning because living with you is a universe: subliminal, infinite, and filled with love.

Meta Analysis on Self-Destruction 

The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars (Photo credit: rachelkramerbussel.com)

Yes, this book can be optimistic, I sorta just said it was, right? But I still think this book was more a self-destructive choice for me than an enlightened rainbow-and-unicorn choice. This book is very. . real. It very much discusses the agonies of dying, death, and mourning. It also discusses the extreme power of love, that overpowers, even these extricating experiences. So, the optimism is: everything really really hurts but there are forces on this planet (i.e.:love) that’s worth all the pain. (That’s the kind of pessimism/optimism that I live for.)
Since I started this book I have had an extreme anxiety that someone I love will die. I have had particular people and ‘fantasies’ about those people in mind — I do have some emotional health disorders, so maybe this did trigger an attack, but I am experiencing something dark. This book did spark this inside of me. In a sense, this book is the grenade– this dark short piece that has engrossed me with pain — but I love it so deeply that it is worth it. So, it is accidentally? meta* in this fashion. This book gave me a pleasant and enjoyable relationship with a cast of characters that really feel ‘alive’ to me, plus, a concrete reminder of yes, mortality, but also that other people think like I do — that I’m not alone, that we are all on this planet dealing with this same subliminal experience.
*again the major plot point in this book in a fictional-book about cancer, so there is some intentional meta as well

Clitorises and Fiction — NEW Tumblr


Clitorises and Fiction

Ithink books are my passion.

English: The day before the Swedish book sale ...write and read but so what? Isn’t literacy a standard in my culture and privilege?

Maybe it is because my favorites cause me to vibrate. A rough vibration that jerks my body and croaks my throat’s hum. As if my body is figuring out how to move all over again. Why do these books resonate so profoundly? Is it because there is a part of me that’s so broken off from Earth that it can only be reached through fiction? How did she get so lonely? How can I help him? Why do they need this book to come out?

I sleep cuddling up to my books. I contemplate the contemporary publishing industry like I was the CEO of Penguin Random House. My boyfriend is a writer; I am part of a polyamorous writing group called Write Bitch, Write. We hang out in bookstores and have increasingly been going to readings in Manhattan. I met the members in the NYC kink scene. That’s relevant because in the scene I created my entire persona over a book character — Bellatrix Lestrange.

An ideal would be writing on the constant. But I do what I can. And when I abstain from writing, I feel guilt, like I should be. Like writing is the thing I’m supposed to be doing. I want to organize words forever. Put that word over here. Move that there. Change that word for another. Make that string of words longer. Shorter. Cut it. Save it. Save all the words in my bowels. I am a book. I am difficult to read. Dull at times. But then you get to a chapter that you didn’t think you would make it to. And you are on the floor, clenched over, feeling. And though the book slipped out of your hands, you are crying, and laughing, and overcome. That single chapter will haunt you

Library book shelves

always. Even if you didn’t enjoy the book on the whole.

Clitorises and Fiction is a venting post for my work in progresses. Writing musings, writing advice, horror and monster images, mythologies, publishing critiques, book reviews, and inspirations ahoy. The star of the show, for now, is a dark-fantasy and horror-erotica currently titled The Purple People Eaters. It is in the middle of its second draft.

The creator of this blog changes their pseudonym every five minutes. For now she is calling herself Indelibility. In stats he is 23, Brooklyn Bound, Queer, and Vegan. In the big picture they are rainbows, demons, cartoons, gore, clitorises and vulvas, bruises and gashes, urban rainforest, and moss.

How do I get my Short Story concept into a STORY ?


How do I get my Short Story concept into a STORY ?

How do I get my Short Story concept into a STORY ? 

Short stories are a narrative following one or two characters through one or two disasters. This journey is the story. This is different then a story concept. A concept is a cool idea. A concept is the what if. A concept example is: ‘what if a wizard became a priest?’ A plot example is that expanded to 5+ sentences with depth and density. In order to get a story with strong characters, character growth, inciting plot, and engaging conflicts you must brainstorm. The way I brainstorm is filling out the below form:

Concept: The idea. The spark. The what if. 

Point of ViewA one line statement that describes the MC / narrator . 

Goal: What’s the MC’s objective? What are they seeking?  

Conflict: What’s keeping the MC from achieving their goal? 

Resolution: How does the MC solve this conflict? How does the MC change throughout the story? 

Character: What really makes the MC tick? This is where you explore all necessary vicinities of your MC. 

Plot: Okay, now you have all the ingredients to the story! You just need to actualize it. For a short story I suggest writing a paragraph that starts with the conflict and ends with the resolution. 

  • After I Create My Paragraph I Reword It
  • So It Fits Five One or Two Sentence
  • Bulletin Points
  • Each bulletin point is a scene 
  • This list should be revised to perfection ! This is your outline. 

And that’s how I brainstorm a short story out of a concept! 

 

Some Sort of Alive


My step sways to the left as I edge Delancey Street. My palm raises to the sky as if I was begging for forgiveness but truly, “Taxi!” I mumble the address, withdrawn into myself, could have been anywhere. Jittery fingers are blasting poorly typed confessions into my smart phone.

Dark inner lips — high pitched squeals —  rounded eyes — arched back– rolling breasts

flashes into my mind.

I briskly hand the driver his 20%.

Lock the door. Brush my teeth. His breath is so melodic when he sleeps. Clothes fall off. My patch is unruly but I am too twisted to care.  I curve my spine around him and it begins in no time.

He. He becomes my meat. Vegetarian and famished. His body is plentiful. Gnawing on forearms, bulky.  Storing muscle for my teeth, sharp as winter, my growls are begs, I want to consume him.

My thighs sting from self-afflicted scratches. I learned earlier that evening that dancing is so much better when there is infliction. Guess I’m a sucker for over-stimulation. Heart racing in my mouthfuls. Okay. Yes. I am alive.

He’s two fingers in, thumb thumping clit, my wetness starts to pour. Okay. Yes. I am alive.

I grab onto his. Glad he doesn’t stop. Take more of him into my mouth, this time I don’t bite. Things are crecendoing but I still get bored. I jerk my head to his thigh and bite him again.

He pushes my head away and pins me down tight.

It is mostly good. We are mostly there. In that moment. Thoughtless but impulsive. The ends to each others urges. That’s what makes it good. That’s the “secret”– Cosmopolitan Feature Story:

  • Be the only ones in the room.
  • Don’t Filter.
  • Primal but intimate.

In the shower the next morning we counted the tattoos my jaw gave him. “I haven’t been out that late in months– a year?” I say as I scrub him down. “I feet immortal and carnivorous when I’m breathing in Manhattan’s night. Can I drop the V word? I think that everything will click again when I get that freedom on the regular dosage. Some sort of alive.”

Book Review: The Witch of Portobello


portobello

I picked up this book because I like portobello mushrooms and witches. Turns out this book isn’t about either one of these things. Despite this, I really enjoyed this book!

First thing is first, this isn’t a fiction or fantasy book. It isn’t trying to be a fiction or fantasy book. So, insulting it for not being these things isn’t fair. There are a lot of bad reviews for this book on this website and I think that’s why. This book isn’t really a novel. It also isn’t a Biology textbook or a historical account of the Civil War. It is pointless to be angry at it for not being these other things. I suggest entering this book with an open mind.

This book IS a discourse about returning to pagan roots.

This might be confusing because there are characters and there is a plot, however, these aspects are just aesthetics so the reader can be engaged in the discourse. Also, this book is “preachy” because elaborating on paganism is the entire point of the book. Religion and spirituality are mentioned in every scene not because the author is uncreative but because that’s what this book is about! It is best to understand this book as an emotional and exciting essay instead of a fantasy book about witches.

I could easily rate this book three stars, but I’m ignoring the Epilogue and giving it a four. The story was building up the idea that human’s spiritual intellect isn’t sharp enough to really know what is going on out there. And that awful things happen even if you have a feeling everything will turn out alright. AND I love that dark cynical point of view that is sprinkled throughout this book. But when you get to the Epilogue and it turns that on its face, well, I think that as intentional, but for me it was extremely agitating. Look, from chapter one, you know something really awful is going to happen to the MC. You don’t forget because it is repeated throughout the narrative. It is only a couple of sentences but it is the only clue to negativity in this entire book, the rest is VERY optimistic and positive.

When reading this book I thought, ‘If there really is a Blessed Mother then why do such horrific things happen to her children?’ But this question isn’t even touched upon! If the author has a different philosophical perspective, then ok, but make your argument. Totally ignoring legitimate concerns really weakens the thesis.

Paganism is a big deep world but this elementary introduction was perfect for me because I’m really elementary with this kind of stuff. Paganism wasn’t sold to me, but in a lot of ways that was just the vessel. The MC rejected Christianity and went to back to her roots and found Paganism. This reject and replace — this independence — that she has is powerful and resonated with me.