Now we’re on track

I’ve been meticulously scanning over my past blog entries, some of which are irritably short and more like from a military logbook than a personal journal of thought.  I’ve also noticed that I’ve stopped mentioning any of my current writing projects or reads thanks to the very psychotic Goodreads.  This needs to be rectified immediately.  Now.  Here.  After all, I’m way overdue for an up-close and personal entry.  Let’s get up-to-date!

Brief update (we don’t want to give them more attention than they deserve, now do we?): More changes to the site have been implemented.  The Examiner seems to never get enough of changes.  My review quota is now 330 book reviews and 212 movie reviews in total.

According to Goodreads, I read approximately 30 books in 2011, all of varying length.  I finally finished the Twilight series, the Harry Potter series…I read many classics and young adult books…I also took adult fiction seriously for the first time.  Island by Jane Rogers was an ear-bleeding challenge that was worth it in the end.  I fell in love (or close to it) with Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel series after reading the author’s dream casting of her main characters (especially Michael Fassbender as the enigmatic Lars), which in turn led me to reading volume #3 (A Game of Lies) right after volume #1 (A Trace of Smoke).  Now all I have to do is read volume #2 (A Night of Long Knives) and I’ll be prepared for volume #4 (A City of Broken Glass), which comes out this July.  However, now I’m set on reading some recommended books, one of which is Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle (thank you Bookshop Talk and Romola Garai!).  I have big plans for my reading list, because several new series are on it.  The order in which I will read them is, thanks again to Goodreads, the only unpredictable thing left.  Signing up for a delightful site called NetGalley is one of the few benefits of my book reviews for the Examiner.  For once, I just may be able to review e-book ARCs before the books are released to the public.  Hopefully.


My last blog entry outlined some of my troubles that have recurred in 2012 already.  Now I’m going to add to the list.  It seems that despite previous warnings, the Fresno Police Department and its Gestapo members will not desist in their constant harrassment of me and my mom.  They won’t leave us in peace.  Why, last Sunday (Jan. 29) at 11:30 p.m., we were bothered yet again by another swaggering and rude Nazi in uniform who tried to interrogate us out of turn and threaten us.  The same “procedure” repeated a few days later at night (Feb. 2 at 10:30 p.m.) and during broad daylight.  Yes, broad daylight.  This all makes me wonder if living in Europe during World War II was as terrifying and dangerous as living in Fresno now.  After all, during those times the world was in a state of war, but now we’re supposedly in a state of PEACE.  Yeah right.

Back to the drawing board from my reality check-list: what am I watching these days?  Well, I got to watch series 4 of the British TV show Merlin at the same time as the British, and since October 2011, I’ve been faithfully following season 1 of Once Upon a Time, an American TV show that is creative, original, and very appreciative of fairy tales.  I like them.  All too much.  Conclusion: I’m attached to Merlin, Once Upon a Time…and Colin Morgan.  Ahem.

Anyway…the horror of being in my shoes and the glaring lack of change for the better in my life is only adding more loads to my heavy bundle of pessimism.  Or couldn’t you tell?  Congratulations, loyal reader.  Together, we’re now on top of the events in my life so far in 2012.

Natalie Gorna

Updates on new reviews and the thrill of writing

I cannot believe that I missed the one year anniversary of my Fresno Movie Examiner job.  I can hardly believe that I’ve been publishing movie reviews consistently for the past year along with my book reviews.  Review quota for the Examiner has reached 289 book reviews in total and 170 movie reviews!  How exciting!  Also, I want to be featured on Rotten Tomatoes as a movie critic…we’ll see what happens with that.

Also, I just published my review of A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell, and the author loved it!  It also created a flame across some news sites all over the web.  I plan to read the rest of the Hannah Vogel series in good time.

The more I think about the novels I want to write, the more all my critiques get pushed out of my mind.  Is this good or bad?  That wanting to write something entirely my own is overwhelming my need to write book and movie reviews?  I can only explain this confusion as my imagination’s desire for expression…I need to put ideas and thoughts through more than some criticism for someone else’s creation.  If my talent as a writer is strong, it will shine through no matter what I write.  However, if my imagination is stronger, it will not be satisfied with mere compositions of opinion.  Also, my lapse in concentration for reading books is part of this…it seems like the door to other worlds is always locked now for me.  And I want to be able to open that door again…the door that reading always opens for me.  However, maybe it’s time to open my own door…without the help of reading fiction.

Anyway…October’s ending.  I hope and pray that new good things are beginning…because hope is almost always based in faith.

Natalie Gorna

The day before Labor Day

So…I’ve been circling around the topic of “what’s going on with me” during my last several blog entries.  Why, you may ask?  Is this not a personal blog?  I have a choice between two replies.  Surreal reply#1 is: the publication meeting I just had with myself, my blog, and the writer spirit in me established that the less I focus on myself, the better it is for the site’s overall stats and general enjoyment.  Realistic reply#2 is: I simply don’t want to write too often about my life, my problems, and my self-pity.  However, today is the day before Labor Day, a “holiday” in America where every working person is allowed to contemplate on the mundane quality of life and empathize with the horrors of work.  So shall I.  And by the way…I pick reply#2.  😉

First off, the Examiner is as annoying an “employer” as ever.  Recently I had an unresolved issue with them about payment, and they kindly reminded me that I am not an employee but merely an “independent contractor” who is not entitled to certain rights concerning payment.  Also, they are constantly changing and updating the site.  Which is vexing.  I know I’m a freelance writer and tutor, which means I belong to the ranks of the self-employed.  This isn’t a bad circumstance; it just is an unlucky one, translating into less pay and a harder time seeking employment.  On an unrelated side note, my total review quota has reached 145 movie reviews and 264 book reviews.  I’ll be celebrating writing statistics another time, though.

In reference to my employment troubles: during the month of August, I regained the status of being a working tutor again, gaining a couple of clients.  Now, at the beginning of September, I am down to one client, because my other one decided to “quit” in no uncertain terms and with very selfish reasons.  Then again, I am at the “beck and call” of the populace, to serve their educational needs.  So who am I to judge about selfishness?  I am just a tutor.  Who needs more work and more clients.  Another suitable pre-Labor Day meditative thought.  People always say that things will get better.  They are only fooling themselves when they reiterate that line to us cynics.

Hmmm…let’s see what else I haven’t covered.  Labor Day is a semi-vacation from the hustle and bustle of Internet life, because all libraries are closed on that day (that means no Internet access for me).  So I’ll be reading A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell and Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (author of Sisters Red)…or writing up MORE reviews.  Did I mention that I reviewed Red Riding Hood last week, a movie I’ve waited to see for 5 months?  Or that Jane Eyre, a movie I’ve waited equally long to watch, will be reviewed this week by moi.  Wait, did I just write all of that down?  I’m supposed to be forcing you, my readers, to put out some effort and click on the links to my Goodreads and Examiner pages.  😛 

But, oh well.  It doesn’t matter if you look at my sites or not, does it?  Unless you care about what I’m writing?  Anyway, in the words of the technologically savvy, “TTYL”.  I will write again soon.  Hopefully, about something non-personal. 😉

Natalie Gorna