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But These Wounds Won’t Heal

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I first came across the song Middle of the Bed as a free download from Amazon. The breathy vocals, soft guitar, and vibrating twang of the synth in the background has triggered a variety of memories and thoughts whenever I listen to it.

Sometimes I recall my first trip to Anza-Borrego Desert with my family and eating a packed lunch in the car at Font’s Point. The synth in the background evokes the bumpy, off-road path of Font’s Point with dust kicking up behind the wheels. The warm sound of the song makes me think of the warm air during the spring/summer period and the heat waves that radiate in the distance.

Other times, the lyrics remind me of two guys who flirted with me in high school and college. Both were charming in their own way but as it turns out, I was used as a girl to practice their flirting techniques on before they’d move onto someone more their speed. No dates ever came out of the interactions with them nor did any close physical contact. Just when I thought I had forgotten them, they came back into my life whenever they were single and eager to get out of the single phase.

How to be a Crushing Disaster

Happy Valentine’s Day/Happy Singles Awareness Day to everyone. The Daily Prompt got me thinking back to one particular crush I had back in 4th grade. Needless to say, he wasn’t my first crush but the story of it was certainly memorable.

His name was John and he was in my 4th grade homeroom class. He was kind of friendly towards me but he did the bare minimum to pass homeroom. We traded pencil sharpeners because he hated the color purple and were assigned desks next to each other for a few weeks. We rode the same bus route to and from school.

Then I managed to screw things up by telling a friend of mine about my feelings for him. She was close to his older sister who was in 5th grade and the rest is history. The news slipped on the bus ride home and everyone was laughing their heads off about me with John. My face was beet-red and he hung his head and grumbled that his sister told me about my lame crush as he got off at his stop.

The rest of the year was awkward. He acted very loud and obnoxious around me whenever he could and I eventually got buried in my studies and books of female detectives and heroes.

It’s Not Just a Backpack, A Smile was Worth It!

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Picture from Pkmncollectors LiveJournal

Great topic today from Daily Post that brought back a fond memory I had. Remember those arcade games where you have to hit a button at the right moment to land on a colored light to win a prize? They used to have those machines in the Starcade of Space Mountain in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

I believe I was 8 or 9 years old when I saw one of these machines in the Starcade on a yearly trip to Disney World. Pokemon was all the rage back then and my favorite, like many other fans, was Pikachu. The machine held backpacks of the three most popular characters: Pikachu, Charmander, and Squirtle. I really wanted the Pikachu backpack so I asked if my dad could try to play the game. He must have attempted it about 4-5 times before we gave up. As we were walking away, an older girl came up to the machine and played it about 2-3 times. She won Pikachu on the final time and immediately handed the backpack to me.

I can remember how huge my smile was on my face when she gave that to me and my dad tried to pay her back for winning the backpack. She refused the money he offered her and she replied, “Her smile was worth it.” To this day, I still have that backpack. While I may not use religiously like I did as a kid, I still hang onto it for the fond memory.

Even in the Shadows, There’s Light (Daily Prompt)

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It’s been a while since I answered The Daily Prompt! But then again, writing my thesis took priority over anything else…

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has been part of the latest fiction craze that is being adapted into a film debuting in August. After seeing the trailer with some of the intense fighting sequences and a humorous exchange between Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower (“Oh no…You killed two cops!”/”They weren’t cops!”) I picked up a copy of the novel to read.

The first book follows 15 year old Clarissa “Clary” Fray who has lived an ordinary life with an overprotective mother. After she witnesses a trio of teens killing a human-like demon in night club, Clary attempts to have them arrested, only to discover that no one else can see them. Days later, she runs into the leader of the trio named Jace, who suggests that she may not be a regular human being but a Shadowhunter, possessing the blood of the angel Raziel which enables her to see demons. Clary is then forced to embrace her new lifestyle as a Shadowhunter when her mother is kidnapped from their home and few clues to her location are found.

The novel fits within the action, adventure, romance, and fantasy genres neatly. Yet one questions whether Clary can be classified as a heroine or borderline damsel-in-distress. (She is not the deft archer fighting the government like Katniss Everdeen nor is she trying to escape her present for the unknown challenges and adventures like Tris Prior.) When the readers are first introduced to Clary, she is presented as the typical teenage girl who likes exploring the nightlife, admiring attractive boys from a distance, and as the defiant daughter who blames her mother for ruining her summer. For me, it took some time to warm up to Clary as the story progressed, as she is struggling to assimilate into Shadowhunter culture. While this is the first book in the series, I felt more drawn toward the attitude and development of Isabelle Lightwood, a fellow Shadowhunter who keeps the boys in line while fighting the demons with her whip.

Clary’s relationship with Jace is explored in the middle of the novel as the two begin to warm up to each other. Because Jace starts off as brash and condescending toward Clary, his treatment of her seems evocative of Edward Cullen’s initial rejection of Bella Swan in Twilight. Yet Clary always matches his cold remarks with some smart ones of her own, proving that she can hold her own against him.

I like the descriptions of the setting and the battles that the characters fight in. Cassandra Claire is skilled at presenting readers with fantastic descriptions of facades created through magic, grimy buildings home to various factions, and the gritty image of battles between good and evil. She includes some funny, memorable quotes that brought a lightness to the fast-paced novel.

Currently I’m reading the second book in the series to see whether I’d like to continue reading or not. As for the City of Bones, I would rate this novel a 3.5/5. There are elements that are enjoyable and well done but the novel has some errors and some questionable behaviors that prevent me from giving this a higher rating.