Tag Archives: Pet Peeves

Y is for Yue

Standard

y

It’s April, and that means it’s time for the A to Z challenge. I really must be a glutton for punishment; April is my last month of college, and I’m still an amateur blogger, but I must say, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m going to be writing short little blurbs about some retired characters from my DISTANT past up until recently; all of them are failed concepts. Part of me is hoping that writing about these characters will inspire me…perhaps to write more during the summer when school is out.

I have something to confess.

I really dislike heroines in Young Adult novels. There are very few female protagonists that I actually like. (Hermione from the Harry Potter franchise is one of the first I came to respect. And I read those books for the first time last year.) Granted, I haven’t read a lot of YA novels lately (feel free to give me recommendations), but here are a few not-so brief reasons as to why I don’t like many female protagonists:

  • The author tries too hard to make them “strong, independent women.” There is nothing wrong with being strong or independent or a woman, but for some reason, that translates as, “You need to be stubborn and refuse help from everyone and put all the world’s burdens on your shoulders…but you also need a boy.” There’s always a boy involved. I’d like to see novels where the heroine is independent in a way that isn’t destructive.
  • She’s always awkward…but is she really? This this seems to be a trend with YA authors who want to create a relatable character. “Oh, I’m your average Jane Doe. Look how awkward I am. No one could possibly like me,” she says as she flips her impossibly perfect hair. I’m an awkward person. I know awkward. It doesn’t just mean that you’re uncomfortable in a social situation. It doesn’t mean that you have one or two friends because everyone else hates you. My awkwardness shows in my sense of humor and how loud I am, how sheltered I am. Once I dig myself a hole, I keep digging, and I make it worse. I’m melodramatic. There’s a lot more to being awkward than being an outcast. (And I’d like to point out that most of these girls are self-imposed outcasts.)
  • Most YA heroines forfeit traditional roles because apparently that’s the only way to be strong. Now I know what you’re thinking. “This is the 21st century! We’re beyond that!” But I’m a traditional person. In my opinion, some of the bravest women are mothers, and I’ve always wanted to read a story about a young mother (or even a middle-aged mother) fighting for what she believes in. I think that’s why I love Molly Weasley so much. (Granted, I also love women in non-traditional roles. The female soldier from the movie World War Z was beyond epic.) I think you can have it all: a woman who clings to traditional values and chooses to be a leader.

Now that I’ve talked your ear off…allow me to introduce my character. Yue Li Xiu is a general for a group known as the Dragon’s Throat. She worked for these knights on and off throughout her early years before deciding to take a break after she got pregnant. She was in love with a fellow soldier, and he was in love with her. They never really got married, but she gave birth to a healthy baby boy and was content taking care of him until…

…a soldier she had burned in the past came looking for revenge. I can’t remember if she had rejected him as a lover or had gotten him into some trouble for inappropriate conduct. I believe it was the latter. This man was known for doing rather inappropriate things with the new recruits. Well, her not-hubby was killed. Her son was taken. And Yue was left injured. She spent a good, long time looking for her boy, but it was no use. She spent some time in recovery before rejoining the knights. Very few people know about her tragic love story, and she tries not to let it interfere with her work.

I like Yue a lot because she’s stern, but she doesn’t let her broken heart keep her from healing. And she doesn’t treat people like crap just because she had a tragic past. She mourns when it’s appropriate and has tried to build a new life for herself. Her past doesn’t necessarily define her. It comes back to haunt her, but she fights it, and she lets others help her. She struggles with her vices, but she recognizes that she has faults and tries to move beyond them. Being a leader doesn’t mean thinking about yourself. It means thinking about your organization, and she tries to think about her country and the men/women under her before she does something wild and reckless.

Advertisements

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 3

Standard

Oh…pet peeves. I have to talk about my pet peeves. I feel as if I have a lot of them, but when I have to list them out, it’s almost impossible to think of any, but let me give this a shot anyway! (By the way, here’s Day 1 if you’re interested.)

What are your top 3 pet peeves?

1.) When people apologize during a speech or any kind of performance

I’m an apologizer. I apologize when it is my fault, when it isn’t my fault, when things are out of my control, when I’m not even involved… Sometimes I apologize for other people. But I never apologize when the spotlight is on me. That’s the first rule I learned about public speaking and performing in general: never apologize during a performance. I’ve delivered many speeches in both English and Japanese. I’ve been involved with music since third grade. I’ve recently started doing theatre again. Have I been perfect? No. Not at all.

My sophomore year of college, I had a roll in Oedipus the King. During our second show, I screwed up a line I had never screwed up before. I just completely blanked. I stared Oedipus back in the face, opened my mouth a few times as if to say something, and then shrunk back down on the stage into a tiny kneeling ball, completely horrified. Apparently our Oedipus had been so intense that night that the audience assumed my character was too frightened to stand up to him.

Make something up. Anything! I’ve had to improvise Shakespeare before. I’ve completely rewritten verses to songs. As long as you don’t break character, your audience may never know. Unless you apologize. Then we all know that you messed up.

2.) Picky Eating

I love food. All food.  (Okay…maybe not ALL food, but I can probably name the food I won’t eat on one hand.) Nothing bothers me more than seeing someone leave more than half of their food on their plate, especially if I really enjoyed my meal, which I usually do. I want to know what these people taste! And I get even more anxious when I know people will only eat certain things. For the longest time, my little sister would only eat white food. White rice, white pasta with Alfredo sauce, French fries… Now she’s eating better, but for the longest time, I wanted to grab her and yell,  “ENJOY ALL THE FOOD IT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY, AND THEN YOU WON’T DIE.” Don’t get me started on people who won’t try fancy cheese because they’re Velveeta purists….

3.) When keyboard warriors pretend to be activists

I don’t mind if anyone is passionate about something (unless that something hurts others). Be passionate about your religion, your political views, etc. However, I hate it when I see people who do nothing but sit on their bums all day and share articles on FaceBook. (I call these people the Keyboard Warriors. You can usually find them in the comments section of any article with a seemingly political message.) I think if you’re truly passionate about something, you’ll get out and do something. Go teach a Sunday school class, volunteer at a campaign office, clean the park, etc. Be the “active” part of the “activist.” Tweeting hashtags, sharing “save the whale” articles, or tearing people apart in the comments section of a blog may give you some sort of personal satisfaction, but it doesn’t make the world a better place.