Review: The Indispensable Heroes of Guards! GuardS

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When a book dedicates itself to fantasy’s expendable Red Shirt Army with the witticism of a P.G. Wodehouse novel, you know you hold a diamond. When I given Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! to read, I was a little weary to give it a try. The dull artwork of a strange looking dragon on its cover wasn’t eye catching. The summary on the back was about as appealing as a very moldy ham and egg sandwich. But, encouraged by my friend’s enthusiasm, I trudged on like a good soldier and opened the book.

Six words in, I knew I was infected.

Guards! Guards! is full of clever sentences that get right under your skin. It opens in a fictional place of Terry Pratchett’s own imagination called Discworld. Our unlikely heroes are the Night Watchmen of Ankh-Morpork who dedicate themselves to alcoholism and never running too fast lest they actually catch a criminal. It’s these four characters Vimes, Colon, Nobbs and Carrot drew me closer to the pages. I felt as though I were a part of their crew.

The plot begins when an incompetent secret brotherhood schemes to replace the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork with a puppet king of their own. In order to accomplish their evil deed, they summon a dragon using a stolen magical book and that’s when the mayhem starts. It’s up to Captain Vimes of the Night Watch and his rag-tag team to stop this dragon and restore order. My favorite character out of this crew was Carrot. Having lived his entire life in the underground caverns of the dwarves, Carrot discovers a whole new world when he steps foot into Ankh-Morpork. He volunteers with the Night Watch which we are told nobody would ever think of doing. His naive yet bold nature reminds me of myself when I moved out of my parents’ house and discovered the life of a city girl.

The voice and style of Guards! Guards! is marinated in Pratchett’s love of good British farce. A ridiculous cast of characters find themselves tangled in improbable scenarios and complications. The heroes and villains are silly enough for us not to take seriously yet so thoroughly well done they seem almost tangible. Our antagonist, the Supreme Grand Master, is a whimsical parody of an egotistical maniac driven by his hatred of humanity’s stupidity. Lady Ramkin, a potential love interest of our protagonist Captain Vimes, is overweight, hazardously confident and sharply eccentric with her fondness for dragons. The story is full of action and spotted here and there by extreme cuteness such as the scenes with the swamp dragons. Also, hidden in the text is a treasure trove of references to Hollywood films.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wishes a great read.

Biography Writing Can Get Hairy

Type Writer

This must be the tenth time I’ve written my about me. In the past, I’ve religiously read posts and articles on how to write a short/long bio. But when it came down to it, I’d always feel stumped. I’d turn on my laptop, enter chrome and log onto WordPress. Then the blank page of infinite possibilities would stare at me like some terrifying creature.

I believe that’s a writer’s worse nightmare. A blank page. It has countless opportunities. A billion things it could be. But when one single letter is typed, its infinite universe becomes grounded. It is now chained to that single letter or word and is slowly molded into a thought.

The difficult part is the thought. There are two types of thoughts. One, a concept that explodes into the human consciousness and orders to be written down. Two, the idea that grows slowly yet surely like a vine with no general direction.

When I started working on my bio, I knew I wanted it to be good. The best. Something that’d make readers’ attention pop. But how the hell do I go about it? As Nike repeatedly says, Just Do It. So I just did it. I started typing. I grounded the page with a single letter. The letter transformed into a word and then a phrase. My beautiful bio was like young tree sprouting. But then I hit a brick wall. I became stuck. I found it profoundly hard to write about who I was. I toyed with the question of my identity repeatedly.

After many brick walls and attempts, I finally discovered the secret to writing. Be true. Be honest. Be yourself. I know it sounds like some cheap advice taken from some self-help guide book. “Just be yourself,” says Disney. Yes, Disney. I promise I’ll try.

Stay true to who you are. You’re not here to impress some date. You’re here to share yourself with your audience. Readers can tell real quick when a writer is trying too hard to please them or make himself shine. Have you ever read one of those bullshit bios? The ones where the author introduces themselves but says absolutely nothing about themselves? Yeah, that was me a few bios ago.

I admit, I was timid to write a single sentence about myself. So I settled for the “hi, I love to write and here’s not why.” It was a mistake and I bet some readers left my site thinking.. “That’s bs.” Remember, don’t be afraid to be you. If somebody doesn’t like your bio, then they can just leave your site and not come back. The internet is full of personalities and weirdos. Even if you write something really crazy or out there, I bet you, you won’t be the first.

Complete Makeover. Feel Great!

makeover

A few months ago, I started out making a website. The journey actually started about a year and some months ago when I wandered onto Wix.com. I had a book that I was hoping to publish soon and I needed a way to share it and myself with other people. A website was the perfect outline. Now, this journey seemed a long one full of trial and error.

A few months ago, September to be exact, my Wix account expired. Wix was asking something that seemed like a fortune to renew it. I decided to another route and I didn’t like they’re web builder anyways. After a long and tested process, I found a way to design a website that looked how I wanted it to. I’m going to do a video and blog later on what I did and how easy it is to make a website.

But for now, I’m here to announce my website’s new transformation. Out steps the old. And in with the new. Voila! Jedology.com.

For now since I have a paid subscription WordPress that I can’t cancel, I’m keeping Jedbooks.org. Will I ever cancel it? I’m not sure. But we’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. At the moment, I’ve got Jedology and Jedbooks. I hope you’ll check out both sites as I spent a lot of time and painstaking effort over the designs.

A Final Decision

PiperArrow

I’ve been quiet on here as of late. It’s been hectic in the life of me. Recently, I took some time to pause and reflect on my life. On the things I’d love to be doing and how to get to the point where I can do them.

My book as for now is on standby. I’m burnt out on it. I need some time to step back and take a deep breath. I’ve been pressuring myself to get it done. A few months ago, I approached a couple of editors who loved the idea of my book. They handed me their business cards and said to shoot them an email. I did. And I have waited. No reply yet. Which is typical considering they’re editors. I was told by one that I probably wouldn’t hear from them until November. Since I last spoke to them, I’ve been working my butt off trying to finish my book by November. I’ve come to realize how that is totally not going to happen. Apart from writers block, stressful stuff happening and other things, I’m burnt.

I won’t stop blogging or writing though. I’ve decided to fulfill one of my old dreams: to fly. I’d like to take off up into the blue atmosphere and buzz around the sun and clouds. I don’t usually mention my personal life on here but I happen to work at an airport. My boss just so happens to be giving me a crazy, once in a lifetime deal. He said he’d like to help me pursue my dream of flying. So pursue I will.

I’ve started another blog called Just A Plane Girl where I blog about my aviator adventures. I will still write on here about my misadventures as a writer and the progress on my book. I’m not, by all means, giving up on my book. I will still continue to write and work on it until it’s finished. I’ve been saying for the past year it feels like that my book is almost done or that the skeleton is there and it just needs filling in. There’s research that needs to be done. Details that need filling in. Dots needing to be connected. It’s coming along but very slowly. Hopefully one day… Scratch that. One day I will be sharing it with all of you. 🙂