Emily Rae Robles

the paradoxymoron

Briefcase of Books: Bridget Jones’ Diary

Title: Bridget Jones’ Diary
Author: Helen Fielding
Brief Case: The only thing clever about the plot is what it copies from Pride and Prejudice; the only thing likable about the characters is what it stereotypes, creating a story that falls flat with characters the reader doesn’t care about.

June 12, 2011 Posted by | book review, briefcase of books | | Leave a comment

Briefcase of Books: In Leah’s Wake

Title: In Leah’s Wake
Author: Terri Giuliano Long
Brief Case:  In a study on human perspective and condition, Long creates a painfully realistic picture of a disintegrating family, showing that a well-rounded viewpoint doesn’t always lack edge.

Tour Notes:

Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official In Leah’s Wake blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

The next word for the book give-away is book. Learn more about the give-away and enter to win 1 of 3 copies on the official In Leah’s Wake blog tour page. The other 2 copies are being given-away courtesy of the GoodReads author program, go here to enter. And don’t forget to stop by the Q&A with Terri Giuliano Long Group to discuss In Leah’s Wake (including questions from the official book club guide), the author, her writing process, and advice.

Book Trailer for In Leah’s Wake:

May 25, 2011 Posted by | book review, briefcase of books | 1 Comment

Briefcase of Books: The Other Hand

Title: The Other Hand /American title: Little Bee (I don’t know why the copy I got has the other title)

Author: Chris Cleave

Brief Case: Two women unexpectedly come together and tell their story with unexpected words that keep the reader engrossed throughout by their sheer beauty.

May 18, 2011 Posted by | book review, briefcase of books | Leave a comment

Grasping at Stars

why today?
why burn away
the dreams that lay as speckled pebbles in the distance of my heart?
a thousand suns are burning
a thousand fires spurning my love for love and life and you.
in the night, i burst forth from my soul,
break free of my whole self
and fly away from the world that drags me down.
take me, break me, forsake me
but you can not reach me where the stars cry tears of dust on my wounded shoulder.
my fingers cling to memories of a life filled with more than death
where youth opened my eyes to magnificence greater than truth.
the stars welcome me with open arms
but will they burn as well?

May 17, 2011 Posted by | poetry, writings | Leave a comment

Flash Fiction: Graduating

I was older once.  Back in a day where innocence was for the young, I washed my hands of adventure and looked down my nose when nothing would look up at me. Back in a time when time sorted itself into tiny labeled boxes, I splashed my face with regret at the multitude of boxes that contained only emptiness.  Back in an age where age became irrelevant, I counted my wrinkles with quivering fingers and smiled at my own smile because I could find nothing else to smile at.

I became younger the day I died, graduating from this life to the next.  I started over again, retaining the knowledge I had but losing the harrowed hardening that had toughened my skin.  I said much in few words rather than the nothing in many to which I was accustomed.  I lived death with more conviction but fewer convictions than I had lived life.

I do not see myself in the future, because only the future can see me now.  It is a one-way mirror in which my reflection flickers.  It is a two-way street in which we race past each other without noticing.  My future is the only thing connecting me to my past.

May 16, 2011 Posted by | flash fiction, writings | , | 1 Comment

Briefcase of Books: The King Whisperers

Title: The King Whisperers

Author: Kerwin Swint

Brief Case: Clear writing guides the reader behind historic scenes, introducing unknown masterminds and delving into their brilliant minds.

Tour Notes:

Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official King Whisperers blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

The next word for the book give-away is FOR. Learn more about the give-away and enter to win 1 of 3 copies on the official King Whisperers blog tour page. The other 2 copies are being given-away courtesy of the GoodReads author program, go here to enter. And don’t forget to stop by the Q&A with Kerwin Swint Group to discuss the King Whisperers (including questions from the official book club guide), the author, and his previous works.

Book Trailers for the King Whisperers:

May 11, 2011 Posted by | book review, briefcase of books | Leave a comment

Circles

Isn’t it strange that, no matter how hard you try and forget that you’re going to die, no matter how much you pretend that you are at peace with whatever happens, no matter how dedicated you are to whatever personal beliefs you have, the moment you realize your life or the life of someone you love is in danger is the most terrifying moment of your life.  Someday, despite your arthritic joints and wrinkled skin, you will lift the corners of your mouth in a smile that looks more like a grimace, because age always taunts you with irony like that, and you will amble over to the bedside of your fourteenth dying friend and comfort them as if you really knew what you were doing when, who are you kidding, they’re much closer to death than you’ve ever been, so how are you supposed to tell them they’re going to a better place when you’ve come from a life that actually wasn’t that bad, despite the arthritis and the natural disasters that didn’t actually affect you and the moments of loneliness when you realized that companionship wasn’t going to happen for your pitiful little self? You will argue with yourself that your life was worth living, fulfilling, and a blessing to others, but really you’re afraid that it was none of those things, and you’ll never know the difference because you can only live once, unless you come back reincarnated as a giraffe or a street urchin or member of nobility in a life that is tainted by the same regrets and fears that you have now, only you don’t remember that you’ve had them before because reincarnation has wiped your memory.  You start wondering about the molecules that make up your body and what they made up before being assigned to you by some unknown powers.  Perhaps you are a combination of bits of long-gone creatures, plants, and people who never knew that they would soon become you, people with hopes and dreams and regrets and fears just like you’ve had in this life and every other that you never knew.  Imagining what sorts of people make up your physical body can go down many paths, either depressing you like crazy at the realization that everyone is really the same, no matter how much focus you place on individuality because everyone turns to dust and is reincarnated physically if not spiritually, or maybe encouraging you to know that you are made up of individuals who were each geniuses in their own way, since God makes each person absolutely unique even though you forget that when you’re inexplicably angry at the girl in your group project who  gets credit for the work you did while she partied the night away at some anonymous frat house with anonymous drunk frat boys whose names she forgot in the morning.

The smell of turkey wakes you up from your reverie, if you can call it a reverie since that implies pleasant thoughts about your future when all you have in your future is dead animals smothered in gravy.  Sitting at the table, you think about how odd a habit eating is. Who decided it would be a good idea to shove objects into the orifice in the middle of your head in order to somehow achieve some amount of nutrition, whatever that means, since cavemen most likely did not know what in the world nutrition was, so why didn’t they just die out like the flies you tortured in middle school by trapping them in tape until they suffocated and then framed in plastic cages and stuck around the classroom because you were too bored to do anything else but limit the existence of other creatures?  You try mentioning your thoughts to your family, but they look at you like you are absolutely out of your mind, which maybe you are, but maybe being out of your mind isn’t so bad and being inside your mind (which presumably is the opposite) is actually limiting you to a life full only of whatever worlds you can imagine and create from what you know, whereas being out of your mind will push you to your limits and take you places you never knew existed because they don’t exist in your mind, only outside of them.  After eating the turkey, you feel sick to your stomach and want to throw up, but you stop yourself by reminding yourself that bodily functions are silly, and all that really exists is your perception of an experience rather than the experience.  Then you kick yourself for getting all philosophical again and run to the bathroom to be sick.  As the remnants pour out of that poor turkey that gave its life so that you could give it back up to the toilet, you wonder whether someday you will be vomited up in the same way, perhaps by a cemetery torn apart by an earthquake, or by the worms that wriggle their way through your decomposing organs until the place where your family and friends visit you to pay their respects is not actually where you lie, but rather the center of a circle throughout which nature spreads your body until you have become part of countless organisms that don’t even know or care who you were.  You think about the dead organisms that now make up your body and what sorts of lives they must have led, and you realize that your train of thoughts has come full circle, just like the molecules in your body, and you wonder if you have ever existed in a life exactly like this one as the person you are right now, with no changes in personality or appearance, but you realize that personality isn’t determined by molecules, so you’re stuck again in a rut of your own thinking, but at least thinking is something productive in that it leads to something outside your physical body.  Then you kick yourself for getting all philosophical again and lie down on the bed and cry because every time you try to think of something new, it ends up reincarnating itself and coming full circle like the way you used to spin around faster and faster as a little child every time your parents put on music until you came crashing down and the world descended upon you in a dizzying frenzy of colors.

May 7, 2011 Posted by | ramblings, stories, writings | , , , | Leave a comment

WordPress vs. Tumblr: Which is better?

(This was originally a guest post for Novel Publicity)

In the world of blogging, many different types of hosts have sprung up, each claiming a different sort of advantage, with which users will be blessed if they choose to start a blog on their site. Having flitted from Blogspot to Tumblr to WordPress, I feel that I have some amount of familiarity with these particular sites.  Today, I have for you an interview I recently conducted between myself, Tumblr, and WordPress.  It was difficult to maintain an unbiased attitude throughout the interview, since I have pursued relationships with both of them, but here is the result. I hope you will enjoy the different personalities that shine through their words.

Emily Rae:  Good morning, Tumblr.  Good morning, WordPress.  Thank you for joining me today.  I look forward to getting to know you better.

WordPress: Thank YOU for having us.  I look forward to working with you.

Tumblr:  Haha, man this is awesome! I’m being interviewed! Everyone, check this out! Is it okay if I take pictures?

Emily Rae: Feel free.  Just remember that this interview is going to be posted all over the internet.  WordPress, are you all right with pictures?

WordPress: Pictures are all right, but why not focus on the lovely words we all are speaking? I might make it difficult for these pictures to be posted, Tumblr.  A thousand words are much better.

Emily Rae: Any other questions before we begin?

WordPress: I will save my comments until the end of this post.

Tumblr: Questions? Oh, I love questions! I have an entire feature where people can ask and answer questions.

Emily Rae: Do you have any you want to ask right now, Tumblr?

Tumblr: Can I tell a joke? I know a really good one about why Harry Potter is better than Twilight.

Emily Rae: Let’s stick to the topic at hand.  For the first question, we’re going to go back to kindergarten.  How do you feel about sharing?

WordPress: Sharing is an admirable quality in any person, animal, or blog.  I am a huge admirer of professional sharing of opinions. I feature buttons that allow bloggers to tweet, Facebook, or share posts in many different ways.  Inspiration and creativity ought to be shared, by nature.

Tumblr: I’m all about sharing.  I make it super easy to like or reblog my posts.  In fact, most of the people who hang out with me spend their time browsing around for cool posts to share with the world.  You get to see so many pictures, poems, and videos of all walks of life.  Some of them are serious and really beautiful, but a lot of them are hilarious! You can also send links to Facebook and Twitter or other sites, just like WordPress was saying.  I get so excited when I check my Dashboard and see that someone has liked, reblogged, or left a comment on a post–”notes,” as I like to call them.

Emily Rae: Thanks, Tumblr, you led read into my next question.  How do your Dashboards work?

WordPress: I try to make my Dashboard (as well as the rest of my site) as easy to navigate as possible.  You can view site stats, post history, comments, what’s hot on other blogs, and you can even post from the Dashboard.  If it’s still too difficult for you, I have an easy drop-down menu on the side and at the top of the page, which allows you to quickly find any aspect of the site you may be looking for.

Tumblr: My Dashboard is the most important part of me! As soon as you log in to your blog, you see all the most recent posts of everyone you follow.  At the top, there are icons that let you post anything you want, whether it’s a text post, a question, a picture, a video, a quote, or even a chat!  On the side, you can view your past posts and the notes people have left on them, people who have followed you recently, messages you have in your ask box, posts you’ve saved as drafts, queues you may have lined up for future publication, a link to your own home page, and a link to customize your profile however you want!

Emily Rae: Wow, it sounds like both of you have some really great features!  Tumblr, you’ve reminded me of another question I have: How are users able to customize their profiles?

WordPress: I have a variety of themes from which users are able to choose whichever works best for their desires for their blog.  I have professional themes available for those whose purposes are more serious, as well as more fun themes that allow users to customize their profiles more.  I want to make sure that I am easy to navigate! I don’t like things to be too complicated.

Tumblr: Oh, you’re so organized.  I bet my themes are cooler than yours!  I have ones that make it easy for people who want their blog to be primarily pictures, ones that work as personal blogs, and ones that work as professional blogs.  Although, I’m like the least professional thing ever. I think professionalism is overrated.  I’ll leave that to WordPress.

Emily Rae: All right guys, final question: What other features do you have that make you special?

WordPress: I have a spell check feature that checks for so much more than just spelling.  Other common mistakes, such as word usage, passive voice, cliches, etc. are all covered.  I also make it easy to categorize posts so readers can find what they want as quickly as possible.

Tumblr: I make it super easy to communicate with other users! You can send messages through the ask box, you can ask questions and get answers–I even have a Chat feature, as I believe I mentioned before.  You can get WAY more followers through me than through WordPress, and interact with them on a daily basis! It’s awesome! I love people!

Emily Rae: It’s great to hear both you express such enthusiasm about your different features.  I’ve really enjoyed talking with both of you.  We’ll catch up soon–as soon as I finish writing this post and log back online, in fact!

WordPress:  Great! It was lovely talking with you.

Tumblr: WOOOOOOOOOOOO I JUST GOT INTERVIEWED! EVERYONE LOOK AT ME! Maybe it’ll get a zilliion reblogs and I’ll be Tumblr-famous!

WordPress: That wouldn’t work out because you’re already Tumblr-famous.  You ARE Tumblr.

Tumblr: Whatever.

Emily Rae: Oh, I almost forgot.  WordPress, you said you wanted to save your comments until the end of this post.  Do you have anything to add?

WordPress: OMG FIRST COMMENT.

May 5, 2011 Posted by | thoughts | | 14 Comments

Briefcase of Books: The Other Hand

Title: The Other Hand

Author: Chris Cleave

Brief Case: Two women unexpectedly come together and tell their story with unexpected words that keep the reader engrossed throughout by their sheer beauty.

May 4, 2011 Posted by | book review, briefcase of books | Leave a comment

Briefcase of Books: Immortal (Blog Tour)

Title: Immortal

Author: Gene Doucette

Info: http://genedoucette.me/immortal

Brief Case: With history at his fingertips, an immortal man leads readers on a journey through the allures and downfalls of humanity (as well as non-humanity), forcing them to contemplate the meaning of their existence through new but aged eyes.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | book review, briefcase of books | Leave a comment