Brooding on Frankenstein

It’s been almost a month since I last posted here.  During that time, things have obviously happened.  No, nothing big — no major changes in my life, which is sad.  But I’ve read new things, seen new things, and heard new things, which changes a person minimally, but the difference is still there.

I’ve been fiddling around with Goodreads and my reading list, both of which are expanding nicely.  Meaning I definitely will read circa 25 books for 2012, some of which I didn’t expect to pick up.  One of them was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  It’s always been on my to-read list, but I never considered going through it until…one of my favorite authors, Rebecca Cantrell (a.k.a. Bekka Black), asked me about reviewing iFrankenstein, her upcoming novel.  I felt very flattered that not only did she want me to read her book and asked me personally if I’d like to review it, but she also made me the first reviewer in the WORLD to read through an e-book ARC of iFrankenstein.  Obviously, I just had to dive into the original afterwards, because…iFrankenstein was so amazing that I read through 200 pages in one sitting (my review will be posted here promptly on the novel’s release date!).

The moment I opened Frankenstein, I knew I’d found another writer to admire.  Mary Shelley’s language and the formulation of her thoughts in print are mind-blowing.  I mean, this lady had no formal education and no actual experience as a writer, but she wrote her novel like a professor with doctorates in several subjects.

As Shelley pointed out, although humans still dream of scientifically finding out what is the very essence of life and the process of creation (they’ve already tried cloning), humanity could never handle the responsibility of creation.  Look at Dr. Frankenstein (though he’s never referred to in the novel as a “doctor” — did he even graduate from university?): he is driven by his desire to uncover scientific secrets and the mysteries of the universe, but when he arrives at the answers, he’s ultimately horrified by where his discoveries have taken him.  To my horror, he abandons his helpless creation, the “monster” Frankenstein, and runs away from his responsibility to guide his unwanted “child.”  And he doesn’t feel guilty about this at all.  The only thing he feels guilty about is creating the monster in the first place.

As for Frankenstein the monster, he is NOT a monster.  Like his creator, he is driven to certain actions, although murder was too extreme to be credible, in my opinion.  He was disregarded by the very being who made him and brought him to life, not to mention rebuked and scorned by every living person he meets.  It’s very brutal, the way everyone judges Frankenstein based on his looks before he even says one word to them.  As Alex Flinn mentioned in Bewitching, somehow people automatically associate ugliness with evil and beauty with good…and they take this assertion for granted.  Plato would say this is a logical deduction, but…human nature makes everything on earth more complicated.  Especially when you’re distinguishing between the surface and what lies beneath.  The essence of a person, that is to say.  Frankenstein was modeled in the shape of a human, and his soul was human too.  But his character was shaped by neglect and rejection.  Would a normal human have acted in a different way after such experiences as Frankenstein had?

Victor Frankenstein…I can sympathize with what happens to him after his mistake, but he is so…whiny…spoiled…and he complains so much.  Also, I couldn’t understand how this scientist could not have noticed Frankenstein’s physical appearance when he was putting him together.  It’s just so incredible, that this highly intelligent student could have been so blind and so obtuse in regards to his occupation and his objective.  Which is why I’m sorry about how he loses all those whom he loves, but not his personal suffering.  Victor is a very selfish being.  And by ignoring the outcome of his experiment, the result of his studying, he causes pain and anguish for all those connected to him.  Did he not even consider the repercussions of trying to be God?

iFrankenstein is…a biting and eye-catching twist on the story.  Of course, it’s set in modern times.  But…well, let’s just say the novel reminded me of the film Eagle Eye.  No more details, though…I’m bound to silence.  But you’ll hear all about it very, very soon… 😉

Naturally, there’s always more to say, more to write…and believe me, once I finally break the chains of this writer’s block, I’ll be live here on my blog more often. 🙂

Natalie Gorna

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

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