Tag Archives: Author

A yearly dose of The Bell Jar.

22 Dec

For the past 4 years, ever since I was 16, I have read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar around this time of year. Though I never planned to re-read it every year around the holidays, that’s just how it turned out. In all honesty, The Bell Jar is probably one of the most depressing books I have ever read, but it is also one of the most accurate portrayals of madness, or descending into madness, from a literature standpoint that I have discovered as well. I guess you could say I love it because of its psychological aspects. However, despite how depressing the novel is, there is a reason Sylvia Plath is viewed as an acclaimed poet and writer. Her words, when put together, form sentences that allow you to feel something. Granted, the feelings her words bring to light aren’t necessarily happy ones, but in all honesty, Sylvia Plath wrote about life, her life. She didn’t sugarcoat it. She didn’t pretend she was happy when she wasn’t. She threw her readers right into the darkness and the loneliness of her life and her mind, and in a strange way, it’s beautiful.

Here are some quotes from The Bell Jar I thought I’d share:

  1. “Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”
  2. “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
  3. “I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.”
  4. “At this rate, I’d be lucky if I wrote a page a day. Then I knew what the problem was. I needed experience. How could I write about life when I’d never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die? A girl I knew had just won a prize for a short story about her adventures among the pygmies in Africa. How could I compete with that sort of thing?”
  5. “I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath but I can’t think of one.”
  6. “Piece by piece, I fed my wardrobe to the night wind, and flutteringly, like a loved one’s ashes, the gray scraps were ferried off, to settle here, there, exactly where I would never know, in the dark heart of New York.”
  7. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they executed the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”
  8. “I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant loosing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
  9. “Secretly, in studies and attics and schoolrooms all over America, people must be writing.”
  10. “I had hoped, at my departure, I would feel sure and knowledgeable about everything that lay ahead — after all, I had been “analyzed.” Instead, all I could see were question marks.”
  11. “The sun, emerged from its gray shrouds of cloud, shone with a summer brilliance on the untouched slopes. Pausing in my work to overlook that pristine expanse, I felt the same profound thrill it gives me to see the trees and grassland waist-high under flood water—as if the usual order of the world had shifted slightly, and entered a new phase.”

Is there a specific book you make a point to read every year?

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Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days…

5 Mar

….of summer. Though it’s not summer, it’s been a lazy day for me. I’m on Spring Break though, so I’m allowed to be lazy right? I think so!

I started off my lazy day by sleeping til noon. Though that may seem insanely late to most of you, it’s pretty typical of most college kids when they come home for breaks. However, I don’t think I’ve slept til noon since last summer, so it’s been a while. I needed the sleep though. Last week before Spring Break I had 3 midterms, a paper, work, and regular classes, so after all of that, I was WIPED! Also, during that week I didn’t get much sleep since I spent so much time studying in the library or going to class or work. Whew, busy busy! It’s been so, so nice to have a break, and I’ve needed it.

Anyway, my lazy day then continued by making black beans and brown rice with green salsa for lunch and watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy on Lifetime. Ah, gotta love it! Though black beans and rice was my staple for a while, I haven’t had it as much recently (not including the days that I work at the campus bookstore since I only have 15 minutes to eat). Anyway, it was nice to have it again. It’s a nice comfort food, even though my favorite comfort food is chicken perlo (which is a moist version of chicken and rice that’s incredible! If you’ve never had it, you should definitely give it a try).

After lunch, I curled up on the couch with a blanket and immersed myself in the words of Jodi Picoult’s newest novel, Lone Wolf. As I’ve said before, Jodi Picoult is my favorite author. I’m loving Lone Wolf as much as I have enjoyed all of her other novels. I’m even more amazed by her because in March of 2010, I got to opportunity to hear her speak about her book, House Rules. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Getting to hear her speak was the equivalent Bieber-crazed teenager having a front row seat to a Justin Bieber concert. Since my mom and I got to Jodi Picoult’s talk so soon, we got to be in the front row (since the tickets for the event didn’t have assigned seats). I also got House Rules signed by Jodi and asked her to put in one of the comments I enjoyed from her talk. It was: “Writer’s block is for those who have a luxury of time.” It’s something I have to remind myself as a writer, and I just love that my all-time favorite author was able to teach me something so valuable!

Spread Your Wings.

15 Nov

“Extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look.”-Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is a New York Times Bestselling author of eighteen previous novels who lives in Hanover, New Hampshire. She is my all-time favorite author, and on March 8th, 2010, I got to hear her speak and have her newest book at the time (House Rules) signed. Needless to say, it was one of the best nights of my life.

Not only did I get to hear her speak about her life, her newest book, and receive her autograph, but I realized that she was just an amazing in person as I had imagined her to be while I read her books. She’s a passionate writer who comes up with ideas for books through the controversial questions that keep her up at night. I think that’s one of the reasons why she has so many readers. Because her readers want to know the “answer” to those questions as much as she does. I partly wish I could hear her speak again now since between when I heard her then and now, I’ve gotten back into writing. I took a lot away from her talk back in 2010, but I think I’d get even more out of it now since I’m back in my groove of writing again.

“Writer’s block is for people who have a luxury of time.”

She said that line during her talk, and it has stuck with me since. She pointed out the fact that the people who need and love to write will find time, whether it’s an hour at the end of the day or 15 minutes during a lunch break. I haven’t quite reached that point again yet, but I’m getting close. The fact that I am restless until I’m able to write my blog post of the day is definitely a move in the right direction. It’s made me remember why I started writing in the first place: because it was the only way I could breathe, the only way I could spread my wings and eventually fly.

So, don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. Yes, that’s cliché, but it’s also true. You want to be able to look at your life ten years from now and know that you did everything you could to pursue your dreams. Yes, life’s too hard to truly believe that everything you want in life, you’ll receive. No one should live like that. It just sets you up for disappointments later on in life. But, if you’ve got a dream, what’s wrong with giving it all you’ve got? After all, this is the only life we have. We might as be as happy as we can be while we’re living it.