Dune and the third-person

I finally got to rent the latest Dune movie on Amazon Prime.

I’ve never read any of the Dune books, so I was walking into the movie only knowing that Star Wars took the idea of spice in the desert from Dune.

I have to say the movie was fantastic. At times it had some clearly trippy moments and a few moments where I just didn’t know what was going on, but I have to say I loved it. I can’t wait for Part Two to come out.

Curious about the source material, I started reading Dune. Probably what I take away the most from what I’ve read so far is how author Frank Herbert uses the third-person narrative to float around among his characters and write what they’re thinking and feeling. I know the main character is Paul, but that doesn’t stop Herbert from telling me what his mother is thinking and such.

I also love to write in the third-person just for this perk that comes with it, though I’ve had a few friends tell me I’m not allowed to do this for some reason. For the first-person, I can completely understand why I’m restricted to writing about how only one character thinks and feels, but third-person shouldn’t be as restricting.

Therefore, I think if someone says to me again, “You can’t just go from one character to the next and tell me what they’re thinking and feeling — stick with one character only, even if it’s in the third-person”, I’m going to graciously point to Dune.

Third-person writing!

Asian Pear Trees

The bigger of the two Asian pear trees I found

I love how I can have a little garden at the back of our home, but given that our backyard is all concrete, my only option is potted plants. It has its good points (I can move them anywhere), but one of the big drawbacks is that I have a love of trees.

I’ve tried to satiate my love of trees by getting into bonsai, and while I have a nice little collection of them growing, my heart is set on growing fruit trees.

Specifically, Asian pear trees.

I grew up eating nothing but the Western variety of pears, and I have to say that personally I’m not such a big fan. I know plenty of people adore them, but I’m just not one of those people. I thought I’d never love pears. That is, until I tried an Asian pear.

In Japan, they’re called nashi, and they are a delight.

I have wanted to grow some forever, but pear trees don’t belong in pots. They are beasts that will consume all the soil they can get their hands on.

Still, there are such a thing as dwarf fruit trees, so I thought I’d look around for some.

We went to a home center (basically a hardware store and a general store like Walmart all rolled into one) and found a pretty nice-looking pear sapling to grow.

The woman working there had patience for me to ask about three questions before she started snapping responses at me. However, she was quick to point out I would need a different variety of pear tree next to the one they were selling in order to actually get any pears. I knew this already, having researched about pears beforehand, but I just nodded.

Despite the fact most pear trees need two varieties, the home center only sold one type. It wasn’t even a dwarf type, but I wanted to give it a try. The tree has enough branches that I think maybe I could even get fruit this year from it. The temptation was all too real.

More hunting unearthed another tree variety at a different home center, though it’s little more than a stick in the ground. This one isn’t a dwarf either. They seem to be available online, but who knows what you’ll actually get? I know people love online shopping, but I think I’ll always love in-person shopping so I can actually see what I’m buying before I buy it.

At one point we stumbled across a gardening store run by an old man. He almost laughed when I said I was looking for pear trees (“Wrong season! Try the autumn!”) and was quick to say, “Now, you’re planting them in the ground, right? No pots?” I didn’t want a lecture from him, so I just said, “Yes, of course, in the ground.” He seemed to visibly relax as he went on and on about how three pear trees can take over his entire greenhouse if he planted them in the ground there.

He said most of the little sticks in the ground you get at home centers won’t give you any hope of fruit for three years, at best. I just nodded and tried not to think of my little stick of a pear tree.

He eyed me and, with a laugh said, “Well, I mean you’re a foreigner so maybe you could get away with going to a pear orchard and asking them for some pollen for your bigger tree.”

I don’t know anyone who just grows fruit trees for fun in their backyard here, apart from mikan and persimmon trees. Those things are everywhere.

My probably misguided thinking is that I can try to bonsai these fruit trees. That means diligently pruning them in the winter and trimming their roots every so often in the winter to keep them from getting pot-bound (where the roots just go round and round in the soil).

I’m not looking to start an Asian pear business, and I’d be delighted to just get a few pears a year, so maybe, just maybe this is possible.

In the world of fruit-tree-growers, I am what is considered to be “a hopeless wreck”, and I’m sure any proper gardener reading this post will wipe a tear from their eye in pity for the fruit trees I’m about to probably massacre, but I’m going to try this thing. I’ll keep updates on here for anyone vaguely interested in getting a glimpse into the misguided optimism of a novice gardener.

The Weather Room

I’m happy to announce I had a short story published in Millennial Pulp.

The story is a not-so-subtle echo of my own frustrations trying to become an author. I feel incredibly happy and lucky to have found any success at all, but I’ve had quite a few rejections sit in my inbox, waiting to deflate any confidence I have that I can be a good writer.

I like this short story for having an open ending. Does the woman in question in the story actually come back to the bar/cafe and show the server her paintings, or was her laughter to suggest she didn’t appreciate what she clearly thought was him just trying to cheer her up? I have my own opinions of what she probably did, but I think it’s fun that it’s up for debate.

If you’d like to buy a copy of the story, please visit here.

An Endless Dance

I’m extremely happy to announce I had a short story published in The Worlds Within.

Called “An Endless Dance”, the story is about the sun as if it were a living being, feeling alone in the solar system. I realize it’s a bit of a bizarre story, but I’m proud of it.

The idea for the story actually came to me when I was sitting at my work desk facing a window on a cloudy day. I personally don’t like cloudy days, especially in winter, and I felt a bit gloomy as I sat there.

Suddenly, a burst of sunlight hit the window, and it was like someone had run up and hugged me. My mind, being a bit out there a lot of the times, started wondering about the sun and what it might be like if it was actually alive.

If you’re interested in reading the story, please pick up a copy here.

There’s a Kindle version and a print version for if you want to hold it in your hands as you read.