Sexual racism encounter #74

29 11 2016

On Grindr:

Him: I’m Italian Canadian. What’s your ethnicity?
Me: (hesitantly) I’m Chinese. May I ask how old you are?

Five seconds later, the conversation disappears. I’ve been blocked.





I want to write a book.

22 11 2016

It’s a strange feeling, to want to write something as arduous as a book. Usually, the only cravings I’ll get are for chips or chocolate but somehow I found myself wondering why I shouldn’t write a novel — and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually write fiction. I’ve always found it difficult to craft something entirely made-up; mostly I’m just not sure 1) I have enough plot to tell a story, and 2) anyone will truly believe what I’m writing. Yet I do have ideas for novels, including a YA novel that, the more I think about it, the more difficult it actually seems to write. I suppose I’m kind of going in circles here, but bear with me, this is a stream-of-consciousness thing and I’m not going to go back and edit this so too bad if it’s one big mess of ideas.

I think the problem I have with writing a novel is that it’s daunting. The word count is daunting. The amount of time people spend — years upon years of their lives — is daunting. Creating something good, telling a worthwhile story — it’s all daunting to me. I think part of the problem is that I build up this idea of how to write a novel that I don’t even begin doing it. That’s why I think National Novel Writing Month is so awesome; the idea of writing an entire novel in a month — or rather, that someone, anyone, could, over the course of 30 days, simply write a book — is amazing to me. It doesn’t have to be that hard. And I think this is what I’m slowly learning. Writing doesn’t have to be that hard (if you know the story you’re trying to tell). What it takes some writers up to a decade to write could take others — including myself — a few weeks.

I could do it, I’ve been telling myself. I could, if I truly wanted to.





Whatever

5 10 2016

I really wanted to like this book.

As a fan of gay-themed YA fiction, this sounded like another hit. Unfortunately, there are too many characters, most of whom are half-fleshed out and at times feel extraneous. But the real issue I have about this book is the depiction of the main character; I like that Mike isn’t a stereotype but at the same time, his character isn’t much of anything. He’s overdramatic and constantly whines that his life suuucks beyond all comprehension and although teenagers are bound to think like this, Mike doesn’t feel authentic, but rather someone’s idea of an adolescent male. Mike’s belief that his life is the worst when figuring out his sexuality could at least be understood and empathized if the stakes were high, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Being gay doesn’t appear to be a big deal for Mike and his schoolmates so his thoughts come off as childish and unfounded rather than authentic.

The writing style also takes some getting used to as well, and I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. Whatever doesn’t add anything to the plethora of ideas of what it means to be queer for young people these days. There are better gay teen novels out there.

Also, this is me trying to be like a too-cool-for-school teen with bright colours. I don’t think it worked. But the colours are bright!

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I’m on another stupid social media thing

28 09 2016

Hello, friends and strangers. I have signed up for this thing the young ‘uns call Instantgram. Find me here: www.Instagram.com/aaronchanvan

Pity Followers are accepted.





Deep Too

27 09 2016

I’m not sure I fully got this. But it was neat to see what a mixed-genre memoir could look like, especially one from a Canadian author. That’s all I really have to say.

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Waiting for Godot

26 09 2016

Though I could’ve read a Shakespeare play to brush up on the classics of theatre/drama, I instead opted for something more modern. I’m sure most people have heard of Waiting for Godot and have gotten the references — two men waiting for another who never shows up — but reading it turned out to be a much deeper, philosophical experience than I thought. The play calls itself a tragicomic, which surprised me even before reading (how could this play be tragic?).

I underestimated Mr. Beckett: that ending was depressing as hell. To be fair, I’ve really been considering moving to another city for a while now but haven’t really looked into it so that likely had something to do with it. Although I think the play is deceptively simple, it’s one of those that can definitely be interpreted in numerous ways. In my case, I felt it was about existentialism.

Ugh. Now I’m depressed thinking about it again.

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Roadside Picnic

20 09 2016

As a fan of Stalker, I’ve been meaning to read this for quite some time but never got around to it. It’s much different than the film, which was a bit surprising, especially since the two guys who wrote the book also cowrote the film. I do have to say, although I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi, I found the sci-fi elements in the book to be intriguing and I wish there was some sort of glossary out there that defined all the various alien technology and anomalies. It was pretty cool.

The first third I found difficult to get into. The writing style is a lot different than what I’m used to, and it might be because it’s a work in translation. I almost gave up — but I’m glad I didn’t because the last chapter was everything I wanted the book to be.

I’m trying to show cleavage in the pic, if you’re wondering. I think it just looks weird.

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