The Irony of Delight and Terror

Feel free to give me any suggestions to improve my writing!

As I gazed up at the massive structure, my clammy palms clenched into fists, my teeth began to chatter and I distinctly felt the cold hands of terror seizing my heart despite the steaming hot temperature of the amusement park. As the seemingly endless train roared past overhead, I shivered, and weirdly enough, began to anticipate this ride as well.

“Dad! Can I ride that? Please? Pretty please with a cherry on the top?” This is my sister, disturbing dad to the extent where he forces me, an extremely unwilling 13-year-old, onto one of the most frightening roller coasters in Korea: the T-Express.

At last, I ended up joining my exuberant sister in, to my relief, incredibly lengthy line of people, my mind overflowing with potential unfortunate incidents during the course of the ride.The somewhat crude queue indicators only added nervousness, as they provided additional things to beware of regarding health and safety rules. “This thrilling ride of maximum speed of 177 kilometers per hour may be dangerous, possibly lethal to people who have the following symptoms: heart disease, high blood pressure, or any other illness that may be aggravated by high-speed,” I read to myself. Along the vine canopies obscuring our vision of the clear sky, warnings and caution signs were plastered, further increasing the tension. Inch by inch, we wormed closer to the entrance.

As if it rose out the ground, the platform of the roller coaster emerged in front of us. As much as the exterior structure seemed intimidating, the actual platform was quite narrow and modest, only enough to hold about two cars or so. That irony made me giggle, yet when I looked onward, onto the steep rise heading to the almost vertical plummet from the summit, gaining velocity, any sign of giddiness vanished.

A thunderous click rang in our ears as the safety bar descended upon us and locked us in the car, unable to escape the monster any more. As we ascended high, high above any other structure in sight, something welled up from my heart; it was pure joy. With my heart beating as fast as it possibly could, as the car crept up the wooden structure with both threatening speed and agonizing slowness, I realized why people challenge themselves by first, creating, then second, riding these exhilarating rides. That delight in my heart was not something we, humans, experience every day. Rather, our lives are so full of dullness and steady routine that we are oblivious to what childish glee feels like, sounds like, looks like, and tastes like. Even in my age of thirteen, we were so consumed by pressure from our parents, peers and most of all, society that even in this early age, we had already become insensitive to the greatest happiness of the world. The adults, surely more sick of this than we were, would have thought to create a venue for the men and women, and the young and the old to capture and revisit their childhood memories, like fairy tales and colorful parades to experience once again what they might have lost over the years.

My ecstatic moment of realization was broken by a smooth tilting sensation as the ascent was complete and the little car was ready to begin its violent journey down and along the wooden tracks. There it was, the feeling I had dreaded all along. All of my innards had been left up high, where the incline began, and the pressure of the wind against my face was enough to make my whole head vibrate. My knuckles shone white, for I had been clutching the front bar because if I let go, I would spring off the car and go flying into the open sky. One part of me craved more and wished this sensation would last forever; another part of me just wanted to die. For a second, I thought I was going to heave onto the back of someone’s head in front of me, and suddenly, wham! and I was flopping through a world full of screeching squeal of metal wheels on track, brilliant blue sky, and nearly deafening blasts of air, my voice too weak even to scream the cries of joy and terror.

Too soon, we lurched to a slow chop-chop-chop of the gears as we rolled into the boarding station. Woozy, my sister and I retrieved our glasses and bags to head out to the exit. I asked my sister, “Do you want to ride it again?” Although her face was white with shock and she replied no, her large eyes sparkled with intense energy and once again, I was able to prove the irony between the terror and delight of amusement rides on my sister.

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A Wish To Myself

Quaking to the core,
as terrified as a rabbit under a tiger’s glare,
there I stood,
under the glare of a thousand audience.

Shuddering with voice trembling,
just like an amateur singer making her debut,
there I spoke,
feeling as if my vocal cords have gone wild.

Peering into the concrete white world within me,
words concealed so well that the savage hunter will never find it,
there I searched,
frantically as I blabbered gibberish.

All at once, a luminous hand reached out,
tearing apart the white world as if it did not exist,
there I cried,
freed from the tormenting whiteness I so dreaded.

There it goes, the whiteness,
into the familiar abyss where it will be lost forever,
there I kindled,
ready to shine like a newborn star in the infinite galaxy.

Tumbling words signal the renaissance,
flowing eloquently through a torrent of emotions,
there I warbled,
singing the beautiful epic of my journey to confidence.

That was some time ago,
so long ago that the time is lost to me,
but here I stand,
holding a dream.

That dream is to speak like Oprah Winfrey,
soothing aching, wounded hearts with words like panacea,
now here I toil,
being confident to deliver passionate messages to those in need.

That ambition will be hard to achieve;
it will take painful efforts in the process,
but here I wish,
that I will.

Ender’s Game (Part of The Lake Scene) Screenplay

Fade in

Ext. Duffey Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Valentine is walking down the boat slip, towards Ender who is standing next to the raft he built himself. The sun is beginning to descend towards the horizon, and the lake that the raft is on reflects the sunshine beautifully. The lake isn’t huge, but it is beautiful: just like the dream environment for a summer-house. As Valentine draws close to Ender, the camera changes perspective and films the side of Valentine’s face, showing her subtle changes of emotion. Show Ender’s face also, showing that he is neither smiling or sad. There is no reaction to his face, but his eyes never leave Valentine. Change perspective again when Ender and Valentine meet: they stare meaningfully at each other until Valentine speaks.

VALENTINE
You’re bigger than I remembered.

VALENTINE WIGGIN, the older sister of Ender Wiggin, with long brown locks and blue eyes, and a somewhat chubby figure. The camera is close to Valentine’s face, enough to capture the slightest change in her face.

ENDER
You too. I also remembered that you were beautiful.

ANDREW “ENDER” WIGGIN, the younger brother of Valentine Wiggin, with military-style buzzed cut hair and same blue eyes as her. The camera is as close to him as it is to Valentine. As the conversation goes on, the camera stays at the same distance, just in different perspectives.

VALENTINE
Memory does play tricks on us.

ENDER
No. Your face is the same, but I don’t remember what beautiful means anymore. Come on. Let’s go out into the lake.

As Ender says “Come on,” he turns around to shift towards the raft. The camera stays there, getting the full-body shot at him. Then he looks back to find Valentine hanging back. Valentine gives a questioning look at the small raft floating quietly on the river. The camera is capturing her whole body, like Ender.

ENDER
Don’t stand up on it, that’s all.

Ender bends down and crawls onto the raft, on his toes and fingers. He sits down on one side of the floor of the raft. He stares up at Valentine, who is still on the slip.

ENDER
It’s the first thing I built with my own hands since you and I used to build with blocks. Peter-proof buildings.

The camera captures Valentine laughing out loud, her eyes seeming to be staring at the Ender, but not focused at him, so that it seems like she is looking at the past.

FLASHBACK

Ender and Valentine are building little huts out of blocks that will hold even if obvious supports are taken away. Then the camera shows from many angles of Peter pulling out blocks that are the actual supports. The next time Ender and Valentine comes and they lay their hands on the walls, the hut collapses and Ender and Valentine fall to the ground, shocked.

COME BACK FROM FLASHBACK

VALENTINE
Peter’s changed.

ENDER
Let’s not talk about him.

VALENTINE
All right.

Valentine uses the same technique to climb onto the raft, but visibly less agile than Ender. Show the scene from behind so that the interested expression of Ender is shown. She sits facing him, and watches him take out the small paddle and uses it to maneuver them towards the middle of the lake. Film them from the side of the raft, and also from far away, capturing the whole lake with the raft being small shadow.

VALENTINE
(Not directly from the book itself) You’re quite brown now, and… strong.

ENDER
The strong part comes from Battle School. The sunbrowning comes from this lake. I spend a lot of time on the water. When I’m swimming, it’s like being weightless. I miss being weightless. Also, when I’m here on the lake, the land slopes up in every direction.

VALENTINE
Like living in a bowl.

ENDER
I’ve lived in a bowl for four years.

VALENTINE
So we’re strangers now?

ENDER
Aren’t we, Valentine?

VALENTINE
No.

They stare at each other for about two seconds, then Valentine slowly reaches for Ender’s knee, which is directly in front of her. Zoom very slowly outwards during the reaching. Freeze when her hands touch Ender’s leg. Ender stays still, watching the scenery, but when she suddenly squeezes right below his knee, where he is most ticklish, at the same time Ender grabs her wrist, so strongly that his knuckles turn white. His face is that of a no expression at all, just his eyes glinting dangerously. For once, he looks like Peter, in Valentine’s mind. Valentine lets out a low cry of pain, and it is then that he releases her hand. He mutters his apology. His expression also breaks.

ENDER
(Not directly from the book itself) I’m sorry. Battle School instinct.

The camera is shooting slightly downwards, angling so that it can both capture their facial expression and also the action happening.

VALENTINE
(Not directly from the book itself) It’s fine.

Valentine watches Ender as she speaks. Film from her perspective, showing Ender’s hidden ferocity under the surface. Indicate somehow that it is her vision.

VALENTINE (VOICE OVER)
He’s changed.

The voice over is spoke hesitantly, sadly, almost as though she does not want to admit that fact.

— TO BE CONTINUED

“What Happened?”

Hello, my fellow internet-surfers!

We all have been annoyed. Let’s say in a scale of one to ten, one is playful annoyance, and ten is pure rage. I’m sure we all have been in each and every number on that scale and I know that you know. Nonetheless, there is this one particular situation that we have put ourselves into, and our range of annoyance has gone to one to ten in a few hours. Ready of find out what this “enraging” situation is about? Ahoy, Captain!

In order to deliver this message to you in its fullest state, an anecdote is needed. This anecdote of mine is just perfect, as if it has been created for me to utilize it. First of all, I love basketball. Although I might not seem like the type to, I really do. I haven’t missed a season since 6th grade (I’m in 8th grade, and I know it sounds weird for me to say that I haven’t missed a season). One day, I was at practice, and we were running drills with mainly shooting. Every time we shot, the ball had to come back to the line, to be passed again to the next shooter.

I was in line when someone passed me their ball and made me realize that I was the beginning of the line. Here is where the “incident” happens. I was wearing glasses (yes, I did wear glasses at that time) when two balls came to me one after another. One aimed at my chest, a proper chest-pass, when the other one came straight at my face, which, of course, I had no reaction time for. Naturally, the ball hit my face, the glasses digging into my nose to break the bone. I didn’t even know it was broken until I had to receive a scan during Labor Day holiday.

After Labor Day holiday I found myself with a nose cast. Next morning, guess what happened? Literally everyone bombarded me with questions regarding my nose. The most asked questions were, “What happened to your nose?”, “How did it happen?”, “Who did it?”, “Are you okay? (Aww, thank you!) ”, “When can you play basketball again?” Imagine being asked those same questions over and over again, day after day after day. Wouldn’t your scale skyrocket to 10 in no time?

I’m sure everyone has been in this particular situation, somewhere in their lives. Whenever people noticed a visible change in you, they tend to bug you about it until you are literally sick of it and yell at them to stop asking you. In my case, I think I showed more patience and tolerance with the repeating questions, since I knew they were sincerely caring for me and were worried about my nose.

I would generally say repeating questions can be annoying, but they are often used for expressing concern and care for someone or something. Obviously, there are some people who intentionally do that to enrage people for their own entertainment, but most of the time? They can’t be more warm and moving. The next time people are having you with their questions, remind yourself that they mean well and plan revenge for later. 🙂

Had I Kept My Dream

I once dreamed of being a ballerina.
I was seven,
knew nothing of hardship and pain.
At last, I faced the reality.
I could not be a ballerina.

I once dreamed of being a teacher.
I was eight,
knew some of the thorny path.
At last, it struck me.
I could not be a teacher.

I once dreamed of being a writer.
I was ten,
knew what would take me.
At last, the light dimmed.
I could not be a writer.

I think into the night,
I wish I had more to write.
But uncertainty saturates me,
weighs me down like deadweight.
Drags me down to the black sea,
making me wish,
“Oh, had I kept my dream!”

Bethany Mota Reading Response

Link: http://www.businessinsider.com/haul-teenage-youtube-shopping-star-bethany-mota-2014-1?op=1

This article features Bethany Mota, the young YouTube video star now only 18. She has even more subscribed people on YouTube than Lady Gaga, and on Instagram she has more followers than Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan combined: a total of whopping 2.2 million. The article basically introduces her and her career, including her new line of clothes under the brand of Aeropostale. The author of the article actually conducted an interview with her and her father, receiving some of their own personal opinions about Mota’s fame. Bethany Mota has made her debut on YouTube, and her fame almost solely based on social media alone, which is one of the factors that make her remarkable. The author also mentions her personality and the difference between her on the video and her in person. Many of her fans think her on the video is “super sweet and so relatable” and “super famous and super pretty”. As her career she signed a long-term contract with Aeropostale, which created her own line of clothes. Her videos began when she was 13, when she was being bullied by her classmates and had anxiety attacks. Slowly but surely, she gained back her confidence and now she is sending messages of confidence for those who are like her, derived of self-esteem.

Bethany Mota is not only the icon of fashion and beauty, but also confidence and self-esteem. She is one of those people who seem endlessly cheerful and strong, at least on her videos. One thing I noticed in her videos was that she never, ever says negative comments about anything. This is my inference from her comments, but I generally assume that she doesn’t mention negative statements because, for instance, if she criticizes a specific product, a fan of hers that uses that product might possibly change her routine to follow Mota’s, thinking that theirs is the wrong way. Bethany Mota doesn’t want that. She always wishes her best to all people, even her haters, and she thoroughly believes that her videos should be used as reference, not instructions. The fact that she is always so positive and values individuality absolutely struck me, since I realized I myself was obtaining reassurance from her as well, when I always thought those messages weren’t for me. Bethany Mota teaches girls to create their own style and their own individuality, so that even when she styles clothes are demonstrates makeup she constantly leaves options of customization. I would say that habit of hers is caused by her dark past, when she was suffering from bullying.

We never know what is going on deep within our soul, let alone other people’s soul. We can all pretend that we understand ourselves completely and secretly be insecure. Especially since we are teenagers, we’re still finding out identity and can be shaken easily. Watching Mota’s videos, confidence and power flows into us, unnoticed. I believe that by watching those videos girls especially can be themselves and become the strong, self-centered (in a good way) people. As for myself, I often refer to the “trends” of fashion, like what other students are wearing to school or what they gossip about during lunch. However, Mota says she doesn’t do that very much; she just creates her own style. I seriously envy her in that sense, and also her ability to persist her own style regardless of what the trend is. I think if we all had that individuality among ourselves there would be much less issues like bullying. 

Matched Trilogy Reading Response

Link: http://genevieveangelique.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/book-review-matched/

There is nothing very remarkable in this post; it is just a book review of a trilogy named “Matched”. The author of this post, apparently also a Young Adult novel writer, has the post laid out in a question-and-answer format, and she used a conversational tone while writing the review. Since she was writing a dystopian novel, she picked up the book for a genre research, however she found it was an enjoyable read, especially because it was a topic the author was interested in. Other than a short summary and the reason why she recommends this novel, she suggests some category of people who will enjoy this series, such as people who enjoy dystopian novels, as well as people who like love triangles and are not all about explicit actions or language.

I personally think that this blog post is more for me rather than the whole community because I have always been craving to read this particular series have always failed to visit the library at the right time to check out the book. The major reason I was so desperate to get my hands on that trilogy was mainly due to the plot of the novel. I’ve been somewhat obsessed with setting such as people, especially girls, being assigned to marry someone and either being independent and defy their duty, or inevitably fall in love with someone else. Although recently many, countless novels have this setting incorporated into its plot, this one is the only one that I have knowledge of that makes the idea the main objective of the plot. I wouldn’t say this is a sort of novel that gives a life lesson; however, I do believe it is an interesting enough read.

I would have a mountain of things to write if I have read this trilogy, however sadly I didn’t, so the only thing I am able to promise is that I will read the series someday soon. In addition, my reaction or emotions while reading this novel will change, knowing that the common outcome of this genre, I will be able to focus on the finer emotions and the little streams of feelings that indicate the shifts of mood the characters are having. I am very looking forward to reading this trilogy and hope that it is valuable enough to write a blog post about it.