August 11, 2012

Life Is But A String

It’s so easy to cut yourself.  The skin, so tender, splits beneath the blade like water under the keel of a boat.  Your body, at first, is too shocked to know how to react, then blood fills the new gap like a field of poppies at spring.  Then the pain comes.  It starts as a dull throb then scales up until it’s reached a couple of octaves higher.  You grit your teeth for a moment.  Then you tell yourself, hey, this isn’t so bad.  I could get used to it.

You concentrate on the scarlet drops sliding down your sun-kissed skin in rivulets until the whole world around you dissipates in a blurry cacophony of colors.  Even the noise that’s kept you up for months’ on end like the tonal variant of Chinese torture seems to fade in the sound of your slowing heart’s beats in your ears. 
Your head feels heavy.  You lie down, or recline against something.  You’re not quite sure anymore.  It doesn’t really matter.  You smile to yourself, the first time in…  well, for the last time, surely.  You think of all your childhood memories, little nuggets of happiness that melt away like chocolate on the tongue.  It’s funny, really, how the world works.  Would you ever have imagined yourself this way?
The world feels heavier and heavier.  You’re not sure whether you’re breathing again.  Your sight is gone.  Or have you closed your eyes?  All you know is that soon enough, this terrible, oppressing weight will be lifted, and you’ll be free again.
The last thought that comes to you as you enjoy the final taste of your memories is…
I’m sorry.

August 6, 2012

The Eye Of A Spy

Whenever I read a book/story, I like to see how the author goes about his or her descriptions. Reason is, that's usually the "slow" part of the reading for me, and one I often find myself skipping...  unless something about it catches my eye.

I am now in the midst of this lovely novel, The Scarlet Pimpernel, written by the Emmuska Baroness Orczy (what a terrific name!).  A precursor to the masked hero stories, it is filled with action, intrigue, life-threatening situations (which abound in a revolutionary France overshadowed by the guillotine), and marital bliss (or lack thereof).  A definite recommend for those who enjoy both thrillers and old classics (a la Jane Austen).

And now a small excerpt that describes how a talented spy pays attention to the smallest details...

"Half-empty glasses littered the table, unfolded napkins lay about, the chairs--turned towards one another in groups of twos and threes--seemed like the seats of ghosts, in close conversation with one another.  There were sets of two chairs very close to one another--in the far corners of the room, which spoke of recent whispered flirtations, over cold game-pie and champagne; there were sets of three and four chairs, that recalled pleasant, animated discussions over the latest scandal; there were chairs straight up in a row that still looked starchy, critical, acid, like antiquated dowagers; there were a few isolated, single chairs, close to the table, that spoke of gourmands intent on the most recherch√© dishes, and others overturned on the floor,that spoke volumes on the subject of my Lord Grenville's cellars."

August 4, 2012

Back In The Olden Dayes...

In the olde dayes of Kyng Arthour,
Of which the Britons speken greet honour,
Al was this land fulfild of fairye.
The elf-queene with her joly compaignye
Daunced ful ofte in many a grene mede.
This was the olde opinion as I rede...
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

Have you ever wondered whether olden tales were actually based on truth?  That the fey walked the earth like we now do, except for their hidden (and sometimes not-so-hidden) talents… that dragons really did fly overhead and that, but for the courage and devotion of valiant knights giving up their lives for our rescue, humans may no longer be around?

But where are they now, the fey and the dragons, the small folk and other spirits of yore?  What happened to them?  Have they ever even existed?  And if they have, did they truly disappear, or are they now lurking in some dark corners of the earth, biding their time for the right moment to strike back at us?

PS: all the great art has been painted by Howard David Johnson

August 1, 2012

Are E-Books The Way To Go?

   I didn't used to think e-books would ever dominate the regular book market.  Of course, it's not.  Yet.  I read some interesting statistics the other day on yahoo!finance, which stated that "e-revenue for new adult fiction is now higher than the revenue for hardcovers."

   Who would've thunk?  And, considering how Fifty Shades of Grey started and that its author is now a millionaire, despite the fact that said author had originally been rejected a number of times (please check my information if I'm wrong) by traditional publishers--though of course, after her online success, she did end up with a regular book deal (and a movie one on top of it).

   Of course, I'll always love the feel of a real, Beauty & the Beast-style library, with real books to peruse at my leisure or for reference... BUT, as a budding writer (yes, it's a long process for me) and a would-be author, I'm fairly interested in this new medium (and I say new because, well, writing on paper or parchment has been around for much longer).

   Hmmm... perhaps I shall let myself be tempted...  But first, I've got a book to write :p

PS:  for those of you interested, that over 2011, e-book sales represented 15% of the market share.