Facing Fear

I receive writing prompts via email. One of these was to write a poem or short story where you confront a fear. This poem is a discussion between the narrator and her fear, doubt and loneliness.

I want to be loved by all,
I want to always feel loved.

That’s not really possible,
You just can’t please everyone.

I don’t need to please them all,
Just those that are important.

And who’s important to you?
Who are you trying to serve?

My friends and family,
My sweetheart, my beloved.

Who are your friends, and why them?
Why surround yourself with them?

They are those I can laugh with,
Those I have common ground with.

Is that all that makes a friend?
Does that make them trustworthy?

Time reveals one’s character.
Time reveals what can be shared.

You are naive to trust them,
Based on time and common fun.

Maybe, but I want to trust.
I want to believe the best.

You deserve to be alone,
If you think they won’t use you.

I try to be good enough,
To be loyal and caring.

They’ll take advantage of you,
Take everything you offer.

They can have everything left,
If they will stay here, with me.

You’re pathetic, you know that?
You’re so dependent on them.

People shouldn’t be alone.
I don’t want to be alone.

It’s not that simple, you know.
You will have to be alone.

Physically I’ve been alone,
That’s not when I have problems.

You cannot count on others
To fulfill your happiness.

I don’t expect that at all,
I don’t like being lonely.

You can’t depend on others
To fulfill your sense of self.
You need to be strong enough
To be yourself, regardless.

I can’t be anyone else,
I am always just myself.

You are not comfortable
With yourself, not strong enough.

I’m comfortable with me,
I’m strong enough to be me.

Then prove it. Prove it to me.
Prove it to yourself, right now.

I am strong enough, as me.
I will be okay alone.
My worth is not dependent
On anyone but myself.

~3/20/2015~

Review of “Malice”

In recent years, paranormal books have filled the shelves of bookstores and libraries, and the excerpt for Malice by Lisa Jackson led me to question whether it would be another one of those books. Having finished this chilling and gripping book,I am passed to report that it is not just another paranormal book. In fact, it is all the more gripping and chilling due to how utterly earthly it was.

The questions this book raises center largely on the quest for answers Rick Bentz embarks on, and the discretion needed to determine whether or not his mind is fooling him and the reader both. Instead of the paranormal book I thought I was reading, this book classifies fully as a psychological thriller, drawing out the reader’s tension right until the very last pages. Lisa Jackson is a genius in her genre and this novel is decidedly well written.

For those who are easily spooked, our dislike crude language and sexual references, this may not be the book for you. Likewise, if you’re looking for a light read, you might want to reconsider your choice, as this is a murder mystery, and forces the reader to wrestle through the same problems Bentz is dealing with. However, if you enjoy a spooky, sexy, and thrilling novel, I highly recommend this book for you.

Review of “Casual Vacancy”

For those readers who grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, switching away from her world of magic and adolescence to the small town world of Pagford is like hearing your favorite band from high school’s new album- the voice is the same, but it’s grown up. The issues Rowling portrayed through her latest novel proved to be a far cry from any Harry and his friends faced, which is why I suspect so many people have negatively commented on this book.

Although initially slow, the plot revolved neatly on the vacancy left by Barry Fairweather, picking up pace as Rowling pushed through the stories of the adults and the adolescents in Pagford. The power struggle is gripping, and the story rapidly pulls the reader in, emotionally and mentally and demands a response.

Layering the plot with class struggle, marital problems, the angst and trouble of teenagers, domestic abuse, and the basest of humanity’s qualities, Rowling somehow manages to tie it all off with a bittersweet ending. This novel was deliciously familiar and a literary piece of genius (as always), but not appropriate for younger teens or children.

Review of “The City of Dark Magic”

One of the occupational hazards of being a history major is the tendancy to read books critically, appraising the content, if there is an argument, how effective the argument was, and whether it was a good book. When my semester ends, the urge to review, and write on them, doesn’t stop. A friend suggested that I should actually write out my reviews, so here is the first of them. If you plan on reading the book, I warn you that this review contains spoilers.

Like it’s title, The City of Dark Magic, centers on one of the European cities that is steeped in superstitions, bloodshed and history- Prague. Sarah, a PhD. student, is invited to come and work in Prague for the summer, in the wake of her mentor and adviser’s death, on preparing a collection of Beethoven’s works for a museum display. She is told on her arrival that her deceased mentor commuted suicide, and that he was a drug addict, but this doesn’t ring true for her, and she goes about her work in an attempt to solve this mystery.

As a history major who will be seeking a Masters in Museum Studies, I find myself a little skeptically of her ability to prepare an exhibit, which seems to be her secondary work, as Sarah gets caught up in the plot. Professionals are trained to do this, and yet she walks in and innately knows the process? It took an entire summer of Internship to learn the process of acquisitioning and storage, and I wasn’t even trained in display set up.

That aside, the plot thickens as she falls in love with the prince, makes friends with some of her coworkers, and more murders are committed. A US Senator turns out to be involved in the intrigues, the prince’s cousin is determined to take over the family holdings, and another academic is murdered, and framed as suicide. It was fascinating and gripping, blending science with myth and history, as each of her questions are answered, and new questions, not to mention murderer attempts, occur.

Despite the mysteries each being solved, justice being brought around, and the museum opening, the ending lacked certain elements of closure. There were certain elements throughout the book, as well, which could have been left out, such as Sarah’s sex life (though it was almost always written with taste), and the language could have been toned down a hint.

Overall, I would rate this book with a four and a half out of five. It was thrilling, and I had trouble putting it down, but there were some things which didn’t necessarily sit well with me. Continue reading