Posts Tagged ‘favorites’
As a follow up to last week’s wildly popular Your Punctuation Personality Type, a post Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS hosted on his blog, we’ve dug through the (imaginary) research archives for similar studies. Not only is English the most widely spoken language in the Western world, but most of us sat through torturous high school English classes that should have cured us of our grammatical errors. Yet we all have grammar issues that trip us up in writing. A recent (totally made up) study examined what your grammar weakness means about you.
Run-on sentences: You don’t know when to stop. You never shut up and you never stop going. People find you and your nervous energy nerve-wracking. You tend to have trouble with moderation. You can’t eat just one.
You work well with: Comma, Hyphen, Exclamation, At Symbol
Comma splice (comma used to separate two simple sentences): You have trouble setting yourself apart from others and tend to blend into the crowd Not assertive enough to use a period, confident enough to use a semicolon, wacky enough to use parentheses, or snobbish enough to use an em dash, you’re always looking to someone else for acceptance or permission. You have a hard time saying no to people. You may be described as a wannabe or as trying too hard.
You work well with: Comma, Question Mark, Ampersand, Hash
Incomplete sentences, Split infinitives, Beginning a sentence with a conjunction, Ending a sentence with a preposition: You’re a rebel and like to live on the edge. You know these aren’t really errors but that editors dislike them and they make people over 50 twitch. You like to stick it to the man. You may be a daredevil and/or a drug user.
You work well with: Slash, Apostrophe, Hyphen
Avoid: Em dash
Using an apostrophe for plural: You are the confident, laid back type. You give the orders, someone else handles the details. You can bullshit your way through most things. You have colleagues and followers more than you have friends.
You work well with: Em dash, Asterisk
Avoid: Question Mark
Missing serial or Oxford comma: You’re British.
You work well with: Semicolon, Full Stop (Period)
Using adjectives in place of adverbs (“ly” words): You are very social and like to hang out. You’re too busy having fun to care how those stuck-up writing people use language. You are at every party. You have 500 contacts in your phone and don’t remember who half of them are. You may be in college.
You work well with: Hyphen, Comma, At Symbol, Parentheses
Using “suppose” for “supposed” or “of” for “have”: You need to read a real book once in a while. It might be confusing because the word “book” is in the name, but Facebook is not a real book, and doesn’t count.
You work well with: Quotation Mark, At Symbol, Ellipses
Using “I” when “me” is correct (example: He gave the candy to Jane and I.): You follow the rules. You are so afraid of being wrong by using “me” when you should use “I” that you always use “I” and therefore still get it wrong half the time, just the other half. You were the teacher’s pet and are the boss’s favorite. You apologize a lot.
You work well with: Question Mark, Period, Brackets
Homonyms/Homophones (you’re/your, their/they’re/there): You tend to be wrapped up in yourself or your own world. You can be casual to the point of carelessness. You’re not very observant and you’re never on time. You think the rules apply to other people. You’re the one who won’t remember the name of the person you wake up in bed with.
You work well with: Ellipses, Apostrophe
Who/Whom: You’re one of the good guys. You like to have fun and you have a lot of friends. You don’t want to know when you should use “whom” because who says that anyway besides pretentious twats? You spend a lot of time on Facebook.
You work well with: At Symbol, Ampersand, Comma
Avoid: Quotation Mark
Whom/Who: (using “whom” when “who” is correct): You’re the pretentious twat.
You work well with: Em dash, Brackets
Its/It’s: You are dedicated and responsible and make a lot of sacrifices. You’re the one who worked your butt off to get a C average while the nerds got A’s just by showing up to class. You let that sort of thing motivate you, though, and you get ahead by being consistent and reliable rather than because you’re particularly skilled or talented. People admire your work ethic.
You work well with: Comma, Semicolon, Period
Avoid: Em dash
Affect/Effect: You are easygoing and fun to be around. You know a lot of things, but the difference between these two words isn’t one of them. You make other people feel comfortable and like to make sure everyone is included. You were popular in school but stood up for the kids getting dumped into the trash cans after lunch.
You work well with: Comma, Parentheses, Ellipses,
Avoid: En dash
Use of ALL CAPS: You are either still trying to get a handle on this newfangled thing called the Internet, or you’re a complete moron.
You work well with: Ampersand, Exclamation
I interviewed author JM Frey last week here and here. But right now we’re just going to focus on what’s most important: how totally awesome this book is! Here’s my Goodreads review. But stay through the end for the exciting news:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m not sure what I expected when I came to this book, but it surprised me at every turn, which is amazing for a book that starts with the end first.
From the luscious prose of literary fiction in what could easily have been stock sci-fi, the skillful use of cliches and pop-culture references for a geek-dream-come-true, the heart-wrenchingly true characters and complex relationships, to the use of time travel to NOT pull all the cinema-stunts you expect when you hear “time-travel,” the book was a sheer joy to read.
As a testament to the skill of JM Frey as an author, the alien character was just as easy to identify with as any other. Sure, I’ve been the young mother primed on hormones and no sleep willing to tear out eyes with my bare hands to protect my child, so of course I felt Evie’s plight keenly. But I’ve also been the lost, grieving, out-of-place, off-kilter outsider who just desperately wants to make it to the next minute without causing my whole world to fall apart. Again. (Granted, it was probably a bit teenage-melodrama-induced on my part, but still.) So I was right there with Kalp, even as he described physical traits and reactions that made it obvious we weren’t even the same species.
And we haven’t even mentioned Gwen and Basil yet.
On top of the beauty of the story, the author plays with typical novel structure and writing in ways that are fascinating to watch without being intrusive or distracting.
Truly a fabulous book. One of the best sci-fi I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
Now, Let me assure you, you want to buy this book. So get over there!
Everyone who posts below that they’ve bought Triptych today will be entered into a drawing to win the super cool, hand knit (by me) spaceship coaster and a $5 Amazon Gift Card!
Don’t worry. If you can’t/won’t buy the book today, you can enter too by tweeting, blogging, or Facebooking about it. Just comment below to let me know you’ve done it.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I loved ancient mythology and read every book our jr. high library had. I even did a minor in Classics with my BA. And I noticed that there was a trend among myths of all cultures that an outside god(dess), usually a red-head, comes in, causes wisdom and mischief, and leaves. The thesis was “What if all these outsider god(desses)s were all the same person?” I wanted to explore what it would be like to be that goddess, what would drive her to wander the way she does, and to tell the “real” story behind each of the myths. Much, much later I read “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman, and thought – yes, just like that, but more.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Apparently I’m a bit of an activist! Who knew? I’ve never tolerated deliberate and willful stupidity, and I feel like homophobia, sexism and racism are the worst sorts of stupidity in existence. So of course my views and opinions make their way into the book, and before you know it, my work has accidentally become opinionated and situated. I’m fine with that, though. I like that there’s a social message in each of my works, even if I didn’t deliberately put it there.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to come away with?
Racial, sexual, and religious intolerance is stupid. Stop being a jerk, human race. We’re totally better than this, guys. Let’s start acting like it.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I love, love, love fish-out-of-water stories. I love stories where somebody from our normal, boring, plain world ends up somewhere or somewhen fantastical.
My first obsession was Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie, followed by the Xanth series by Piers Anthony (until I realized how misogynistic the books were), and then the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. I latched onto the vampire myth from there because I am fascinated with the idea of a monster who hasn’t always been a monster, a good person pulled into the darkness and how each individual reacts to that. I reread Shapechangers: Book One of the Cheysuli Chronicles by Jennifer Roberson until the glue on the spine flaked away, and a YA time travel book called Yesterday’s Doll by Cora Taylor, which was gorgeous and heartbreaking story about a girl who ends up taking over her ancestor’s life in the pioneering prairies. These are all stories where someone is pulled out of the comfortable life they know and forced to deal with the realities of another. Just recently I read Three Cups of Tea by Eric Mortenson and it just grabbed my heart and squeezed. I like memoirs like that one, and like Alex Kerr’s Lost Japan. They make me want to do incredible things, too.
What book are you reading now?
I have begun to reread The Hobbit. I haven’t read it since the first Lord of the Rings film came out, and I wanted to ‘cleanse my pallet’ as it were before diving into something new. I might read The Child Thief by Brom next, which is a retelling of the Peter Pan story, or maybe The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell. Both are near the top of my pile of to-read books. Maybe I’ll reread Alcestis by Katharine Beutner. I just can’t get that one out of my head.
What are your current projects?
You’re going to regret asking that!
I have a short story coming out in an anthology from Dragon Moon Press this August. It’s called “The Once and Now-ish King”, and it’s in WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME, edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy. I also have an essay called “Whose Doctor?” about Doctor Who and Canadiana coming out in DOCTOR WHO IN TIME AND SPACE in October.
I am currently querying two novels around – one is a YA steampunk adventure stories about a girl pilot and her mystical jetpack, one is an adult historical romance about a time traveler who accidentally turns Jane Austen into a lesbian. (LMAO!) I have the follow ups to the YA book plotted, but I won’t start writing them until (if/when) the book sells. I still have that monster of a first novel on my radar, but as I said earlier, I have no idea what to do with it. I also recently began a new novel set in a world where vampires have always been a part of working society (what sorts of government services must there be for those who can’t die?), and a memoir about the years I lived in Japan and the accident that broke my knee and forced me to more or less give up on my dream of acting. There are some novellas and short stories I’m still shopping around, too.
I also have a webseries all written and am talking with a filmmaker about it, but I have no idea where that is in terms of reality, and if it’s ever going to go forward. I have ideas for a comic miniseries, some plays that are done and I should really try to get into a Fringe Festival, and some academic articles and poems that I haven’t even begun to shop. I would like to rewrite my undergrad thesis at some point, and sell that as a text book, as well as my MA thesis.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I really like Neil Gaiman because he doesn’t let himself get pigeonholed into one age range, or genre, or even medium. He writes comics and TV episodes, kid’s picture books and adult novels, articles for magazines and newspapers, sci fi, fantasy, horror, reviews and everything in between. I love that, and that’s what I want for my professional career – a little of everything, and getting to work on whatever I feel like writing!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The bugging ending. I had something entirely different there, and my editor said that it didn’t work. It was too much of an epilogue and not a climax. I hadn’t wanted to write the big adventure ending, the action movie stuff, because the book wasn’t supposed to be about the action. It was supposed to be about the emotional reactions, and the character studies, and the domesticity. I wanted to keep the narrative firmly in the realm of the home.
But every beta reader, even my mom, felt unsatisfied with that. They wanted to see the bad guys get their comeuppance, and while I thought it was redundant and gratuitous, I let them convince me to just try writing it. It worked. They were all right, of course. I spend so many pages making you love these characters; it is gratifying to witness them being avenged.
But I still feel ambiguous about the ending, because as much as I just love it now, it hasn’t been in the book as long as the rest of the novel, and it hasn’t gotten as thorough a polish. I fear it’s the weakest writing simply because I haven’t inhabited it as long as the rest, though I’m assured the opposite.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The hardest part of writing a book isn’t the writing, the editing, the querying or the revisions. It’s the marketing! It’s unbelievable – I think I’ve put more hours into promoting the book in the last year than I ever put into writing the thing! Of course, I’m completely type A and so I love it.
The great thing about being with a small press is that I have a say in a lot of what happens, and they’re willing to listen to my ideas, even if they veto them in the end. But much of the marketing is up to me – writing and sending out press releases, the social media and building my website, arranging readings and appearances and give-aways, producing a book trailer, all of that. It’s good because I can be consistent; it allows me to build and maintain my brand across all platforms. But it’s also a tiring. I joke that I have two forty-hour-a-week-jobs – the day job that pays for things, and the writing/academic job, that doesn’t pay well enough, yet!
I look forward to getting an agent and getting the kind of book deal that comes with a marketing budget. It may never happen, but I’m hopeful. As much as I do really love handling every aspect of my career, I’m just exhausted. I don’t get any time to write any more, and even if I do find the time, I end up just staring at the computer screen, wondering why I’m not napping, or trying to remember what my friend’s faces look like. I look forward to having all of that other stuff taken over by someone who’s probably going to be so much better at it than I am, anyway. Then I can concentrate on actually writing again, on being creative, which I really miss.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you want to be a writer, write.
Don’t whine, don’t stall, don’t make excuses. Bum in seat, fingers on keys, shut up and do it. Some people set time aside daily, some weekly, some use contests to keep themselves on track, or challenges, or writers groups. (I’m a fan of NaNoWriMo to help start a new novel). I can’t tell you what you have to do to motivate yourself, that’s your job. But find it. Then write.
If you love writing, you will write. If you prevaricate and make excuses, and talk big but never get a word on the page, then you’re not a writer. Period. If you don’t like that label, then do something to fix it.
In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Also, never underestimate the power of using the fanfiction community as a writing apprenticeship. The feedback is brutally honest, quick, and fair.
What’s the one interview question you hope you’ll be asked but never are?
“Hey, aren’t you that actress from [insert title of documentary and/or webseries and/or short film here]?”
(Hey, aren’t you that actress from…)
What about you? Do you have any Questions for JM Frey? Post them below!
Today I get to interview debut novelist JM Frey. I stalked her a little bit when I was researching our mutual publisher, Dragon Moon Press, before I signed with them. Not only did she forgive me for that, she’s turned out to be just lovely. Her debut, Triptych, is out now. Let me tell you, it’s wonderful. You want to read this. Buy it today, or wait until Monday, April 11, for Make Triptych #1 on Amazon day.
Either way, get it.
Now, here’s the fancy intro I copied straight off (read: plagerized) her blog:
She is also a freelance voice actor, model, and speaker. She appears as a guest on podcasts, television and radio programs.
A bit about Triptych:
“A stirring adventure, as well as a tender love story, from a first time author who truly embraces the limitless possibilities the future may bring. JM Frey’s Triptych satisfies any sci-fi reader looking for a different take on the first contact motif, or anyone looking to explore the possible evolution of human sexuality and love.”
–Nadine Bell, Filmmaker
for Lambda Literary
Now for the fun part. It was such a great interview that I didn’t want to cut any of it, even though I really asked her too many questions. So I’m posting it in two parts. Tomorrow there will be more!
You’ll find my occasional inserted comments in italics.
Your website says you are a fanthropologist and pop culture scholar. What is that exactly?
I’ll be honest and admit that I sort of made that word up. It comes from an online community I belonged to an age ago called “Fanthropology”, whose name itself is a mash-up of “fandom” and “anthropology” – so, the anthropological study of fans, our activities, our culture. (Yes, ‘our’; I am a big fan girl myself. Not fair to study what you’re not willing to do).
I have a BA in Dramatic Literature, and for my MA, I did a program that would let me study fandom: the Masters of Communications and Culture at Ryerson and York Universities. But describing my course of study to people, especially fellow students, was hard. It wasn’t pure sociology or anthropology or cultural theory because I looked at technology, legalities, and policy as well. The easiest way to describe it was “fanthropology”, and so I became a self-dubbed “fanthropologist”. (How cool is that?)
Now that I’m graduated, this generally means that I appear places (on the radio, on TV, at conventions, etc.) and talk about the fascinating things fans do and love, and why they do or love them, from an academic perspective. I teach fans about themselves, or sometimes I consult with media companies on how best to attract and retain the very loyal fanbases who love to really get into the media text. I also publish essays, and go to academic conferences to read papers.
There are some fans who would prefer that people didn’t expose our culture to the mainstream, because it generally ends up painfully derogatory, like it did with the Trekkies documentaries. But I feel that generally happens when people from outside fan culture try to study it – which is why I encourage fans to become self aware. While, yes, there is an inherent bias if we are talking about ourselves, we are also less likely to be negatively judgmental or ‘Other’ ourselves. The only way for fans to be seen in a positive light is to stand up and speak for ourselves. Fans do amazing things – for instance, the amount of money David Hewlett’s Squirrel Army has raised for Doctors Without Borders is astonishing – and we deserve not to be derided in mass media.
Your debut novel, TRIPTYCH, was released last month. Tell us a little about it.
It was 2007 and I was living in Japan. There was no central heating my apartment (there rarely is in apartment buildings), and on this particular January evening it was 4 degrees outside and about 2 inside. I had given up on my heaters providing enough warmth and had biked up to the local onsen (public baths) for a soak.
Enjoying the sensation of having feeling in my toes again, I reflected that on that particular evening it was my mother’s birthday, which then led me to reflect on how different our lives had been so far. I, for one, was surrounded by naked Japanese women in a public bath. My storyteller’s brain liked that comparison, grabbed it, and ran with it – “What if?” it said (which is how it always starts, so the rest of me braced myself), “What if 25 year old Mom met 25 year old me? Would we like each other?” I thought we would, but of course that would make for a boring story, so my storyteller’s brain added, tantalizingly, “But what if you didn’t?”
From this came the novella (BACK), which I began immediately after I got home from the onsen and polished while laid up in April with a knee injury. After a bucketful of rejects from literary magazines, it eventually sold it in early 2008. The feedback from the story was great, and more than one person wanted to know what happened next. At first I wasn’t interested by the idea of writing more – the short time-travel story was enough. I had nothing left to say about this particular mother and daughter duo.
But readers pointed out that I had hinted at a deliciously fascinating alternate future when discussing the daughter character’s back story. They wanted more of that, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wanted to explore that world as well. Between marking exams and preparing lessons at the high school where I worked (all on crutches), I began to write ‘what happened next’, this time in the alternate near future, from the point of view of a nonhuman.
The polyamoury aspect of the book was the most surprising part. I didn’t see it coming, not a mile off. But one of my beta readers mentioned off hand that it sounded like my alien character was sleeping with two of my other characters. I said, “No, no, of course not…” and went to go correct the sentence where I had made the mistake. But then, of course, my storyteller brain poked me and said, “But what if he was?” (I love it when that happens!)
I’m glad she mentioned it, because it changed the thrust of the whole narrative from being about the mother-daughter relationship to being about all the major relationships in the daughter character’s life – with her parents, her husband, and her lover.
I thought at first that I would write a second short story set in this world, perhaps even a series of short stories from the points of view of many different characters, but gradually the second short story got longer and longer and I realized that what I was really writing was a novel. I scrapped the idea for a series of shorts and began to figure out a beginning, middle and end for a single narrative – I called the three sections just that, “Beginning” (the short story (BACK) ), “Middle” (the second short story), “End” (a short story I intended to write next). This gave me the idea to actually structure the book in three segments, use three narrators and POVs, and to focus on triads – love triangles, one child families, past-present-future, polyamory, and deliberately being meta about traditional story structure. The chapters were later renamed.
I completed the first full draft of the book in the summer of 2008, sitting at my parent’s kitchen table back in Canada. My mom came home from work to find me weeping over my laptop on the day that I had written “the end”, but I think the emotional reaction was mostly from the pain medication – I’d had corrective surgery on my knee a few weeks before.
I spent the next year and half revising, polishing, querying, getting rejected and starting the polish again, while simultaneously doing my Master’s degree. From the time I began the story to the time I pitched it to the editor who eventually signed it, it was almost exactly two years (January 2007 to April 2009), and about fifty five drafts, if you count the novella. I revised through 2009 and sent it back to the editor in December, I think it was. In April 2010, Dragon Moon Press announced that they were picking it up! The draft that is the final book is number sixty four, I think.
What is your favorite thing about this story?
Kalp. I love him to bits. (Me too!) I kind of wish I had a Kalp plushie. I desperately miss spending time with him, the most of all my characters. I have no desire to write a sequel novel – I feel that TRIPTYCH is complete in and of itself, and to write another novel would actually be detrimental and trivialize the story that I tell in the book – but I have lots of ideas for little scenes and things that I would love to write up and publish as short stories in anthologies, and they’re almost all about Kalp and his world. But I also don’t want to reveal too much, because I want Kalp’s appearance and his home to be personal for each reader.
I think my favorite part has been the world building – I loved being able to really sit down and think about a world where the hegemonic cultural norm had society forming a life built of triads instead of in binaries, like ours. To be able to stand back and scrutinize culture has been my greatest joy in school, but to then be able to apply all that learning to creating a plausible and sustainable alien culture? That was awesome.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? And/or when did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I never wanted to be a writer as a kid. I wanted to be an actress – I wasn’t actually doing too bad, getting there, until a mishap with a shady agent and the busted knee. I dreamt of Tony awards, but the reality is I was probably never going to get further than bit parts on TV and theatre. I was okay with that. I did some webseries, short films, a few documentaries and some extra work. I still do a bit of short films and community theatre, but obviously now I can’t dance or stand around too long.
Writing was originally just a way to get the ideas I had for films and plays onto the page, or something to keep me busy back stage or between classes or takes. I’d always loved telling stories, but I channeled it into performance, not prose.
I began my first novel, “A Touch of Madness” at the age of fourteen, I think. All twenty or so hand written pages of it are still in my story-morgue file box somewhere. Of course, I didn’t know it was a novel then; it was just an idea for a movie that I was writing down with full description. After that I quickly discovered fanfiction, and threw myself into that culture with abandon. I have to have written thousands and thousands of pages of fanfiction over the years. Again, I never had any intention of writing “profic”, but the more feedback I got and the more I improved, the more readers started telling me that I had the talent to be a ‘real’ writer. (Uhg, I hate that division. Fanfic writers are ‘real’ writers. It’s not like they just pretend to put words down and make up narratives and tell really effective stories. They actually do it. And there’s some fanfic out there that is far more engaging and well written than some of the published stuff I’ve slogged through.)
I was working on a really epic fanfiction with huge backstory at the time, so I decided to yank all the interesting and original elements I had been developing out of the fanfic, and shape them into their own novel. That became “Dsr”, a book that took me years to complete, and the first real novel I ever wrote. (I haven’t started shopping that one, because there’s about five billion things that need fixing in it, and I don’t even know where to start.)
When I got finished with “Dsr” I was happy to realize that I had all kinds of other original ideas, and began to write them down, too. At first it was just for the love of writing the stories, but at some point I thought, “Hey – I’ve put all this work into these. Maybe someone will pay me for them.” From there I sold some articles, poems, and short stories, and nobody threw rotten fruit at me, so I decided that I would try something bigger.
TRIPTYCH was the first novel I intended to write, polish, query and sell as a marketed project from the get-go. Once I was offered publication, that was when I thought, “Oh, hey. I’m a writer. And you know what? I like this! It would be awesome to be a full time writer!” That was when I began to seriously work at it professionally, and throw time and energy behind the marketing, and my other projects.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Each idea comes from a single sentence. The sentence is often ends up somewhere in the book, rarely the beginning, and that sentence is the seed for the rest of the idea. The novel sort of blooms around it. I write a bit that comes after, a bit that comes before, and then whatever comes into my head. I later shuffle and rearrange the spontaneous scenes and ideas until a frame of a plot emerges. Then I go in and fill in whatever else is missing, generally not in order.
I make up these sentences from conversations I hear, snatches of songs, images that influence me, just thoughts that drift by. Generally they end up scribbled in note pads and taped to the wall. I have a whole file of these sentences on my desktop. Then I think about them and what sort of story they could be the seeds for.
For example, the sentence for TRIPTYCH was “There was a UFO in my strawberries.”(I LOVED that line.)
The concept of the book comes after I start writing scenes, and usually I create a thesis that helps shape the whole thrust of the novel. It’s the academic in me, I can’t help it. The thesis for TRIPTYCH is “What if there was a world where the standard cultural and biological model wasn’t in binaries, like on Earth, but triads?”
Sometimes the rejected sentences become poems, instead. My poem “Water Garden”, which is published in The White Wall Review Issue #32, is one such sentence. I’m thinking of maybe publishing a chapbook of these sentences-that-didn’t-make-the-cut one day. I could call it “Not-Novels”! That would be fun.
Love that. More JM Frey tomorrow, folks. Stay tuned!
Call Me by Your Name is a contender for one of my favorite books of all time. It’s really hard to make me cry from a story. I can name all six movies and three books that have made me literally bawl. This was one of them. The last sentence of the book is the best last sentence I’ve ever read.
The prose is luscious. The setting is unique, a teen growing up in near-past Italy, and fascinating in its depth and nuance. The characters are very real, their struggles very relatable. And the outcome, so tragically believable.
Incredibly beautiful, moving, gorgeous piece of literature.