Hold On.

Hold On.

Tread softly in my wake

for I am as likely to strike out at you

as I am to reach out and embrace you

as I am to escape your benevolent reach.

 

The willing victim who desires an escape

from the contract I’ve signed

with the demons who are friends with the realists;

deep breaths stifle my lungs with haze.

 

I remember you in my hour of need

yet every time I survive another day

I forget you until I don’t.

I miss you then I don’t.

 

Please keep your hands in the vehicle at all times

and your arms around me at all times

I don’t know when the next time

we’ll be together will be.

 

With all my love,

******.

 

 

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“The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear” Book Review

“The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear” Book Review

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“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men…But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.” -Patrick Rothfuss

“The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss is an enthralling novel that gives off “Lord of the Ring” vibes whilst also being its own unique entity. Rothfuss is somehow able to talk about something mundane like Kvothe keeping track of his money and still makes it interesting to read. In a general sense, the story attracts the reader into not only the scenarios that Kvothe is put into but also into how Kvothe figures out what to do to alleviate his situation in his favor. To not only create an interesting setting but an interesting character with insight into the inner workings of their mind is amazing. Kvothe is of course not perfect, as he does slip up every now and then, but that only makes his demeanor more human. The interwoven idea of the workings of magic explained in a scientific way (i.e. the laws of matter used in how one can tie an entity like a stick to a person, in which if a stick is burned the person will also feel burned). The continual, seemingly mundane life Kvothe leads build up to the overarching goals of the character without feeling boring or losing the reader’s interest. While this is a hefty read, one can tell the story is well thought out, and Rothfuss’s five years of work show.

 

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“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.” -Patrick Rothfuss

“The Wise Man’s Fear,” the second installment of The Kingkiller trilogy, is a continuation of Kvothe’s journey as a human being as he becomes closer to his goal and experiences more romantic, mature love as he develops. While in the first book he seems to be intellectually superior and is able to rationalize the best course of action, he had no understanding of women or love and he admits so. This book ages Kvothe in a way that prepares him for more character development appropriately corresponded with older age and a diversity of experiences. Without wanting to give away too much of the development of the plot, I would encourage anyone with available time to pick up this read and prepare themselves for the third and final book of this trilogy. Similarly to the first novel, “The Wise Man’s Fear” took around five years for Rothfuss to reach a particular level of satisfaction and his eloquence and carefully planned progression is much appreciated and not usually seen in most literature.

The third installment is rumored to be named “Doors of Stone,” but as the second book was published in 2011, we can’t say for sure when this finale will be published but I can’t wait to read it!

The author, of course, also adds this sneaky piece of information in a Newsweek interview conducted March of this year (2018):

“It’s way worse than that,” Rothfuss answered. “I am an author who has tricked you into reading a trilogy that is a million-word prologue.” So even after this third book, there’s much more to explore in this world than previously perceived.

 

Soporific Rain

Soporific Rain

When I wake up, there’s no sudden understanding that I’m awake. Where there was nothing I come into existence; gradually, suddenly, I can’t say for certain. The first few things I am aware of are that my eyes are closed and that my body is enveloped in soft, caressing fabrics that make me feel as though I’m floating on nothing. I can only be vaguely aware that I’m touching something and all I know is that I want to freeze time at this moment.

The hum of the AC turns on and I concede to finally prying my eyelids from each other. Light invades my defenses, but I am pleasantly surprised to find my adversary being held back by voluminous clouds, merged in appearance as though the sky were the wooly body of a sheep. With only one more factor does this morning become perfect.

Small friendly knocks on my window come from falling visitors from the sky as it begins to rain.

I turn to my side and begin to move my body to the precipice of my soft world. Tentatively sticking a foot out of my covers I am startled by the sudden onset of cold air that greets my skin. Calling for a hasty retreat, I concede to the elements and return to hibernation as raindrops pitter a rhythmic lullaby in the late hours of the morning.

Nervous

Nervous

I hear you walk over and I didn’t know what to expect. Your hands brace the wall and you act smooth. A toothy grin and smiling eyes, the puns start rolling out. You lean toward me and for some reason, I don’t want to be somewhere else.

Because I noticed.

I noticed you look at me for half an hour, trying to decide whether you should come over or not. Whether you should just drown yourself in drinks and forget it. In the end, I heard your chair scrape back and you clear your throat.

You clasped your hands together and didn’t seem to know what to do with them, so you braced one against the wall. The knuckles on your hand were so white I thought the wall would crack. You said “hey” and I could see the relief in your eyes that you didn’t stutter, that you hadn’t made of fool of yourself yet. Your toothy grin was clenched teeth, and your eyes were bright. The puns were bad in a good way. I chuckled at the funny ones and chuckled at the bad ones. You seemed to be too close, but you never touched me, always leaving me space. Like you were afraid that contact would electrocute you more than the air already was.

I look at you and smile. I don’t want someone who’s practiced, suave, and calm. I reach out a finger and lightly touch your hand. You flinch but don’t move it away.

I appreciate the effort but I appreciate the honesty that comes through more.

I bring a shaking hand closer to your shaking hand.

After all, I hope I’m not the only one who’s nervous.

“Crazy Rich Asians” Book Review

“Crazy Rich Asians” Book Review

 

Crazy Rich Asians
“There are the Chinese from Mainland China, who made their fortunes in the past decade like all the Russians, but then there are the Overseas Chinese. These are the ones who left China long before the Communists came in, in many cases hundreds of years ago, and spread throughout the rest of Asia, quietly amassing great fortunes over time.” – Kevin Kwan

Given the recent summer release of the film, I don’t know if an introduction is necessary. Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” follows Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young on their vacation in Singapore for a friend’s wedding. Little does Rachel know that the Young family holds a distinguished background. She slowly finds herself immersed in a world of not only good food and people, but also money, scandal, designer brands, and secrets beyond what she could have ever imagined.

Outside of the scope of the plot itself, I enjoyed Kwan’s use of Cantonese and numerous other languages to portray his characters’ reactions to events. I find that this gives the story more authenticity to its origins and immerses the reader deeper in the culture and setting of where the characters are– the story contains a certain charm that prevents it from becoming “stereotypical” or “mundane.”

From the food to tradition to the familial history, Kwan’s story lets readers enjoy a fictional story of drama immersed in wealth whilst also bringing to attention the side of Asia that people overseas did not know always existed. This book is able to entertain and inform the reader at the same time. For people who are not familiar with Asian culture, this books provides a comfortable introduction that blends the unique culture with the familiar romance plot of.

With the more recently spurred movement towards Asian-American representation in media and film, this novel as a cinematic art piece is able to reach a wider audience and intrigue others to learn more about what being “Asian” and being “American” really means, as well as what it should or should not make someone think. This book alongside other recent publishments and films have exponentially exposed a reality of Asian culture America could not perceive through the lens of stereotypes.

I’m excited to get my hands on the other two books in Kevin Kwan’s series and learn more in-depth what events will unfold as well as where the author will take the reader next.

 

*other recommendations regarding being Asian while also being American:

Fresh Off the Boat: A television series about a Taiwanese family who moves to Florida. A comedic and cultural portrayal of what life was like for Asian-American children that were the first generation to be born in America

Sour Hearts by Jenny Zhang: A memoir based on the author’s memories as a child of recent Chinese parent immigrants trying to survive in New York City. A more grotesque reality, a startling realness that most people tend to avoid because of its portrayal of the cold, hard, truth of life. Not for the faint of heart.

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, amongst many other numerous novels, films, etc.

 

~Any recommendations are greatly appreciated! A “To Be Read” list can never be too long.

 

Thought5-children of children

Thought5-children of children

A child. We were all one once. We are all children.

There is never really an instant when someone is “grown up.” Rather, life is a perpetual accommodation to larger tasks. We are born a “blank slate” that instantly begins to record sensory information even before we are able to open our eyes. To be rudely disturbed by the jolt in temperature, moisture, light, sounds, etc., the clock hands begin to move.

A child with children.

Eventually, infants grow into children, and children learn to take care of their children, and more experienced children watch their children take care of THEIR children. Who are we but stopwatches clicked to start at different times? Why do we focus so much more on the differences when what we can focus on being alive together?

Immature maturity.

It’s too easy to categorize other people as “adults” and “our generation.” These labels, created to search for a better understanding of change in mindset, should not be used to segregate and dissuade others to understand one another. An older someone fluent in a topic can still learn something from a teenager and vice versa.

“Those millennials.”

“Your generation wouldn’t understand.”

Humility.

It may be hard, and it will frustrate all of us to no end to get each other to understand where we’re coming from, but that doesn’t mean we should not try. To simply brush off one’s inability to understand your way of thinking as “the upbringing of a different time” without exhausting alternatives to bridge the gap, what do we hope to achieve? To say something is difficult: is this a sign to work harder, or is it an excuse to give up before we try?

Why do we stagger our learning curve because we are too prideful to feel humility in what we do not understand? Older generations have long-term experience, younger generations have modernity.

A child at heart.

I do not argue with others to convert them into believing what I believe. I should not define someone by their present opinion when they have room to mature, grow, experience, and better understand the situation at hand. I hold my opinion in order to better understand what others have to say and accommodate my perspective accordingly. If I feel an explanation will give me a more mature, wholesome understanding of the topic at hand, I listen.

I don’t “concede.” I am not “weak” when I agree with someone else. I simply understand that I’m a human being with a measly two decades at my disposal to understand the workings of a society that have continuously been changing for over two thousand years. I am forever a child that always has something to teach and something to learn. We look different, act different, live differently, prioritize differently, but we were all children.

We are all children.

Children of children with children from children of children.

“Free Me” Dream

“Free Me” Dream

Oh boy, another survival dream. Wonder what I’m doing this time:

 

The building’s interior is completely white; like an inverted sense of space. Only from the shadows standing on the wall can one notice the edges of doorways and walls. People rounding the corner seem to materialize out of thin air. I walk down the halls behind my superiors with hands firmly clasped behind my back. They never glance back at me and argue among themselves, smacking a clipboard every now and then to emphasize a point I didn’t understand. I didn’t know who they were, but all I knew, all I needed to know, was that I was to stand behind them and follow.

I couldn’t tell if I was a prisoner or their entourage; I couldn’t tell if my clasped hands were for formality or from restraints. My body may or may not have been mine to move, but I would never know because there was no reason to do anything else. Looking back, I wonder if I could have turned away and gone off on my own. Could I have attacked them from behind? Perhaps. But the point was, at that moment, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to do anything; I had no desires of my own. Was I an android, devoid of human emotion? I might as well have been a glorified piece of moving furniture. For some unknown reason, I accepted it with no qualms.

Suddenly, two people broke out of the crowd and everything went to hell. I only had a brief moment to register what was going on before a man pulled out a gun and shot me in the arm three times. Feeling only a small amount of pain, I looked down to see three small nail-like objects now embedded in my upper arm, evenly spaced.

Looking up again, the second gunman –gunwoman– stared at me. “There are no side effects,” she told her partner and lifted her own weapon, pointing it in my direction. She looked at me and asked, “Do you want to be free?”

I hadn’t even known I wasn’t until that point. People around me were still screaming and running around, the lights were blinking crazily, and soon armed personnel would come to take care of the situation. Looking at the woman, I could tell wasting time by asking questions would result in them leaving without me.

I looked at her and whispered, “Do it.”

Do what, I didn’t know. What I did realize was that everything was about to change.

Before I knew it we were running to a window leading outside. We were nowhere near the ground, but the other two jumped without hesitation. I ran to the window and saw my superior in my passing by.

Without hesitation, I jumped and didn’t look back.