Podcast: Fiction

From the time I learned how to read, I’ve always read fiction. I could get lost in Wonderland or Hogwarts, just by opening up a book. The simple stumble into a couple hundred pages could result in many hours, or even days, spent entwined in the content between the cover pages. Yet, one of the best parts is the smell. Oh, the smell of a book. If you’re an avid book reader who’s in love with printed literature, describing the smell is almost impossible. It’s easy to get lost in it. Just picking up a book and sniffing the pages, old or new, it’s enticing. A digitally printed book doesn’t even compare to a hard copy, especially since a hard copy could be placed on a shelf. Personally, I love having my books on display.

Ah, the display. IKEA really has some fantastic bookcases even though they’re cheap. Alphabetically organized and divided between read and unread, the books give off a floor-to-ceiling library effect. Now, let’s not forget about the people responsible for my aesthetically pleasing case.

There are currently 266 books, or rather 178 authors that are alphabetically aligned on my shelves, but let’s get down to the authors I have the most books from. Off the top of my head, there’s JK Rowling (who we all know and love), Danielle Rollins (a, as she puts it, candy-coated horror novelist), and Chuck Palahniuk (who you might know as the man behind Fight Club).

These three authors have the most books on my shelves, and here’s why:

For one, all three authors write in some form of fiction. Whether it’s considered fantasy, horror, or transgressional, fiction is always my go-to.

Joanne Rowling, or JK Rowling, is the writer behind the entire Harry Potter franchise. Naturally, I have more books of hers than I do anyone else’s (besides Chuck’s) and I’ve been reading and rereading her books since 2006.

The Harry Potter series has had such a big impact in my life. Right from the start, my mom read me 60 pages a night so I could get through them before the big AR tests we had. Now, for those of you who don’t know what AR tests are, they’re Advanced Reading tests we used to have to take in elementary school. We got points for each one depending on our grade and I was number 2 in all of the fourth-grade class of Martin Walker Elementary, all thanks to JK Rowling and her magical books. Immediately, I got hooked on Severus Snape (RIP Alan Rickman), Mad-Eye Moody (may he rest in peace, as well), and all of the mythical creatures throughout the books. While the series may be finished, Rowling still continues to produce widely-loved novels even to this day. I’ll always appreciate the boy who lived under the stairs, and I’ll always appreciate the woman behind it.

Danielle Rollins is a different story. She’s a fireball with her words. One minute I’d connect with a character and the next I’ll start feeling queasy due to some gory scene she slipped in. Her books are like roller coasters and if you go under her pseudonym, “Vega,” they just get gorier. Now, I’m not talking Saw-gory, because she is technically candy-coating some of the scenes and the books are for young adults. Yet, somehow, someway, I can’t read them all the way through without taking a few breaks. Rollins, or Vega, has published a total of six books, and I barreled through them in a matter of weeks. Now, let’s get into my all-time favorite author, Chuck Palahniuk.

From this point forward, for the sake of not mispronouncing his last name, I’m going to refer to him as Chuck. Chuck is a trangressional fiction novelist who refers to his fans as Chuckleheads. All of his books plotlines were written so that the main character broke out of societal norms. For instance, in Fight Club, the main character got tired of working a nine-to-five job, so he started doing illegal activities after hours. Which, coincidentally, I can’t talk about due to the number one rule: “Don’t talk about fight club.”

Chuck has published a total of 21 books and I have 17. Alphabetically, by book title, there’s Beautiful You, Choke, Damned, Diary, Doomed, two copies of Fight Club, Fight Club 2, Haunted, Invisible Monsters, Invisible Monsters Remix, Lullaby, Make Something Up, Phoenix, Pygmy, Rant, Snuff, Survivor, and Tell-All.

Surprisingly, there’s actually a story behind one of the copies of Fight Club. On Black Friday, my fiancé and I woke up at 7am to go and get a signed copy of it. Now, we didn’t meet Chuck because he wasn’t there, but we now own a signed first-edition copy of Fight Club and we’re planning on putting it in a shadow box. It’s become one of our prized possessions and we don’t let anyone touch it, which sounds obsessive, I know, but the Chucklehead in me can’t resist.

Anyway, I think that’ll be enough for this podcast. I hope each and every one of you go out there and find a good book, get lost in the pages, and have the same experience I do when I find a new favorite. Make sure to keep up with me to find out more about the vast world of literature, multimedia topics and the study of writing.

Reflection

My composition process changed by switching to a more audio approach because I had to think about how I’d say it while I typed it. I included commas where I’d usually take a breath.  On Microsoft Word, I typed up the blog so I could read it easier. That way, I could double-space the text and increase the readability. Overall, this was an interesting and fun experience and I’m glad I finally did a podcast.

To Whom It May Concern;

To whom it may concern,

The simple idea that anyone could drive an individual into such a mediocre state of depression is absurd. But the idea that someone who swore they were your friend didn’t help you out, hold your hand, or pull you out of that state is even more absurd. I’m writing today to tell all of you what happened to me these past few days. While leaving out all of the personal names and specific circumstances, I’ll make an attempt at sparing any over exaggerations.

With the eclipse occurring on the 21st, and Mother Nature taking over my lower region, I’ve been a little bit off. There are rumors that people become more sensitive, their weak traits come out more, and several personal aspects can just get screwed up. Well for me? I became vulnerable. School started on Monday, Mother Nature attacked me on the same day, and everything was just falling apart. Until I had somewhat of an epiphany.

The epiphany I had was a cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less of a sudden realization. I had the realization that no one actually cares unless it’s a way for them to use you. Your time, your emotions, your ideas, your love, anything. Regardless of how long you’ve known each other. Regardless of the labels or the open mindedness you’ve tried to achieve. No matter how nice and how rational you try to be to everyone, none of it matters unless they get something out of it. You can give out advice, you can compliment them, you can have civil debates, you can wish them a happy birthday, etc. but no matter what you do. No one really cares.

I’m tired of trying to please everyone. These past few days I took three mental health days from school to just lay in bed, sob, and play games on my iPad. I fell behind in school, I questioned things in my life that I never have before, I blocked everyone on my social media accounts that I thought were annoying, and I even took a depression nap.  Which let me tell you, I never ever do. When I take naps, I hibernate. If I’m tired, I drink coffee. But the other day, I took a nap. I was so mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted that I fell asleep after a disagreement I had with someone very close to me (no names remember?). Last but not least, in my battle with my emotions, I took down my Facebook and closed my Etsy art store. Like I said, I was done.

Even though everything I’ve stated above sounds terribly cliche and not unusual for a 21-year-old engaged college student, I don’t care. My whole family was worried about me, the two friends I have left were worried about me, and even my cats checked on me from time-to-time. I was a complete mess. But someone who I thought would’ve been there for me, wasn’t. I shouldn’t have been surprised honestly, but I was. They proceeded to ignore me crying out for help but continued to reach out to someone else instead.

Needless to say, a few years ended up going down the toilet. I’m finished. I’m done. I’m kaput. I give up. I was at my most vulnerable and at my worst. So whoever wasn’t there for me, doesn’t deserve me at my best. The people who did reach out, however, I greatly appreciate, but after this week the vulnerable Danielle is being put to rest.

I’m tired of tip-toeing around people who are spineless. I’m tired of everyone telling me what is and isn’t correct. I’m tired of everyone being so sensitive and whiny (ironic that I’m whining right now). I’m tired of the few individuals who claim their personal issues are more valid than my own because they’re a little more extreme.

The sad and depressed Danielle is diminished, the walls are back up, and my “doesn’t-give-a-shit” attitude is (hopefully) back for good. Now I can’t promise anyone that this will all stay because who knows, maybe I’ll break down again in the near future, but for now, I’m done. I honestly cannot say that enough. Just the idea that people can be SO horrible is enough for me to make an attempt to stick to this realization.

Also, if you want to come at me (if anyone actually reads this), don’t. Just. Don’t. Because more than likely, the shoe will fit and you’ll find something to argue about and I’m not having it.

With no ragerts,

Danielle