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March 20th, 2013

Break

...wow. Crickets this week, huh? Well, I don't blame you all.. I've been out of the loop, too. In the last week, I've finished the quarter with high marks that I don't feel like I deserve, participated in my sister getting engaged, gone wedding dress shopping, made a duct tape dummy, got my computer fixed, and been absent from home during a severe storm that left 22,000 people without power. But not my people, apparently. And I still have four days of spring break left.

On my plane ride last week I started reading book 4 in a series I began thirteen years ago. It's been a good three or four years since the previous book came out, and I don't remember a whole lot about it. I assumed that the new book would fill me in on the important stuff I needed to remember, like most books will. It does... sort of. But what's interesting to me is that I never noticed any unnatural prose in these books before, and this one causes me to consistently stumble while I'm reading. The sentence structure is clunky and poorly worded, with frequent modifiers pointing to the wrong subjects; the author inconsistently mixes high fantasy wording with modern humor and idioms; and it switches point-of-view to characters I only vaguely remember from previous books, without reminding me why and how I should remember them.

That I notice these things enough that they pull me out of the story makes me very sad, because I was really into this series. I'm 150 pages in, and I've read all the previous books, but I still feel like I'm waiting for a hook. Really, there's only one burning question that's been keeping me going, and that's the love story aspect. Thus, any time we switch POV to the villains, I get really irritated because I don't care about the larger story. I keep wondering if the other books were like this, too, and my grammar palate has refined enough in the past few years that I now notice what was there all along.

In other news, finals... went much better than they should have. I did some work that I was really proud of, but I definitely want to make more of an effort and keep up better this coming quarter. Also, I had a conference with my "hard" teacher about my progress, and he said some way nice things about my work and my work ethic that left me frankly stunned. I remember when I first met him in the fall, he told me he remembered my application portfolio--but I had no idea if he meant it in a good or bad way. He mentioned it again in our conference, and now I know. (Good.) So school is awesome, and I feel really good about the progress I've made and the growth I'm about to do. OH! Something else I am starting to understand is the difference between illustration and sequential art; I'm still approaching comics like an illustrator, but I'm just starting to grasp the nuance, and awareness is the first step to change.

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