Friday Five

Whew, many apologies for the long delay in blogging! My family arrived back in the States on Tuesday evening, and I have become a jet-lag zombie ever since.

Seriously. I've never had jet lag so badly before! It is an affliction. A sickness. I AM DISEASED!

Ok, not really, but does anyone have any advice for me? How do I fall asleep at a reasonable hour?!

*Eye twitch*

Well, the trip to Taiwan was quite fun! My jet lag is due to a good cause, at least! I'm still sorting through my pictures but here are a few from my favorite sites:

{Taroko National Park in northeastern Taiwan}
{Alishan National Park in central Taiwan}

And here's a picture of my brother and me at his wedding festival! He and his new wife Dora wore traditional Taiwanese outfits for the day, which was both awesome and amusing. I mean, check out that hat!

{The hat has wings!}
{My dad can't resist the hat.}

I managed to get some reading done during the trip and during the loooong flight to Taiwan!

Of these three, I have to say that I liked Boy 21 the best. I simply fell in love with this book: with its honest narration, with its grimy urban setting, and with its heartbreaking characters who are all flawed and messy and trying to survive in the inner city.

What did I love most about this book? The realness of the male narrator's voice. You know how some male POVs come across as how we wish teenage boys would sound like? As in, the boy is so clever and mysterious and sensitively romantic? That's rather swoony and all, but sometimes I just want my characters to sound...well...real. And author Matthew Quick accomplishes just that. Finley, the protagonist, acts and thinks and sounds like a real seventeen year-old. You know, he thinks about sex and about his family. He thinks about basketball and how to get out of his town.

Finley is simply real. And I loved that.

On the writing front, I'm currently working on a revision for Awesome Agent Jim! His notes are spot-on and I'm excited to make my manuscript stronger (this is my YA alternate history), although I am a bit overwhelmed whenever I stare at the email that Jim sent me.

Like, where do I start? Eep!

Hopefully, I can make some good headway this weekend. I just have to crack open Microsoft Word and force myself to revise, right?


Well, you're probably jealous of my weekend plans, aren't you? HA! Anyway, since I've been away for so long, what's up with you? What's new? Whatcha reading? Whatcha doing this weekend? More importantly, do you want to hang out when I start tearing out my hair over revisions?

I'm good company. Promise!

Oh, FINE. I'll buy you a brownie. Now can we hang out? Or are you gonna make me order you a drink too?