Welcome To Fake Paradise!

This is the personal writing blog for Joana Hill, creative writing major extraordinaire! Here you'll find the random ramblings and occasional writings of a girl obsessed with gay romance and the yaoi manga FAKE. You've been warned.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Joana's 2011 NaNoWriMo

My last post, a friend of mine asked what my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel will be, so here's the gist via profiles for the four main characters! I don't actually have a name for the novel as-of-yet, which is strange since I've been thinking about this since I was fifteen.

Princess Lana of Eferhild

Lana is the main character and the second daughter in the royal family of Eferhild. Eferhild is a matriarchy, meaning that the throne is inherited through the female line, however being the second daughter, she is not expected to rise to power. The story starts with her being betrothed to Prince Halim of the desert nation Abdul-Bari, but Lana isn't happy about the prospect of being shipped off to live in the desert for the rest of her life. Given that more attention is given to grooming her sister for the throne, Lana didn't always get a lot of attention growing up. She often likes to sneak out into town or spend time in the sanctuary. This second fact is how she was one of the first to know the Earth Gem was stolen, and so she runs away on her own, hoping to catch its thief.

Sir Nathan

Nathan is a knight of Eferhild Castle and originally from the country of Tryamon. At age eighteen, he became a knight of Eferhild because he was determined to protect Lana after an encounter they had when both were much younger. After Lana goes missing, Nathan goes out on his own to find her and ends up accompanying her and Gwenna when Millicent distracts Prince Halim so Lana can escape. Nathan is loyal to a fault and good with people, since he grew up with eight brothers and sisters. He never had much romantic experience, however, so the many times they have to travel under the guise of a married couple leave him flustered.

Gwenna

Gwenna is a fairy from the country of Tryamon, where fairies are quite commonplace. When Lana encounters her, she is living with the medicine woman Millicent, pretending to be her granddaughter, since a fairy's human form perpetually resembles a human child. Like all fairies, Gwenna is capable of communicating with animals via the fairy's unique language, and she is often tailed by a young wolf cub named Mio-dine (literally 'Wolf-animal' in fairy speak) who is extremely protective of her. When Lana and Nathan escape from Millicent's house in order to elude Prince Halim, Gwenna ends up traveling with them.

Skye

Skye is an Amazon warrior woman that Lana, Nathan and Gwenna meet when their ship capsizes and they end up stranded on a remote island. The Amazon society is in an uproar because someone had come and stolen a precious weapon of theirs, and Nathan suspects it's the same person who stole the Earth Gem from Eferhild and the Fire Gem from Abdul-Bari. Skye at first has them thrown in jail under suspicion of being the thieves, but later lets them out when the queen of the Amazons is found dead and it's obvious that it couldn't have been them that did either. Skye ends up traveling with them, determined to find the culprit and avenge her dead queen.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo starts in less than a month!

...and I'm already distracted. Some of you might remember several months back me mentioning the anime Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. Well, it just started its second season.


The good news is, I'll have a reward every Friday for writing. The bad news is, my ovaries might just explode the first time Yukina shows up for more than a few seconds /hopeless fangirl.

Preparations for the month are underway, however! Anyone else planning on participating this year?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Word Wednesday: Mellifluous

Mellifluous is an adjective that literally means "flows sweetly." It's usually used to describe music, so if you go to a recital and the person playing is really good, you might say they are playing mellifluously! It is quite a nice sounding word, even if it can cause one to be tongue-tied.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Word Wednesday: Pleonasm

Pleonasm is a noun and, if you're anything like me, probably sounds really scientific to you if you don't know the meaning. But it's actually not! It means "the use of more words than necessary to express an idea." So essentially, it's redundancy. Some of you probably know the term purple prose. So if you come across writing that's really wordy and overly-descriptive, you can say it's "fraught with pleonasm."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yaoi Manga Monday- Mysterious Love

Ugh, one day I swear I'll use one of my college's scanners for these instead of having to look up images online. I say this mostly because I couldn't find ANY sample pages or pictures of the characters other than the Japanese cover.

Uh anyway.

Mysterious Love is a manga written and drawn by Taishi Zaou and put out by Doki-Doki, an imprint of Digital Manga Publishing (the same people who own June, although Doki-Doki doesn't exclusively put out yaoi). It stars Masafumi Tamura, a high school student who's had premonitions all his life via his dreams. They were usually things like scores on games, people getting hurt etc. When he entered junior high, however, he started having dreams that hinted about his first love. They weren't that innocent, however- they were "HD, surround-sound" dreams about him having sex with a guy. These dreams bothered him so much that he started avoiding sleep as much as possible, and trying everything he could to prove to himself and those around him that he is straight. As the manga starts, however, he's going about his day in school, and he finally meets the mysterious dream man- Narumi Seiwa, who instead of being put off by Masafumi's efforts to push him away, actually starts falling for him.

Mysterious Love is a comedy despite its drama label. Masafumi's family (mother, father, older sister) know about his dreams and actively encourage him to pursue love no matter what gender it is. Masafumi's two best friends even pitch together money for him and Narumi to go to a love hotel so they can have sex for the first time. It seems everyone is okay with him being gay but him! The translation itself is actually very well-done, with no visibly awkward places, if a typo or two for the discerning eye. Masafumi is pretty over-the-top at the start, but it's one of the few yaoi manga I've read that does not actively include the "rape-is-love" trope (Cafe Latte Rhapsody also has no signs of it) so it's a good starter manga. I would definitely suggest it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Yaoi Manga Monday- Desire


Desire is a single-volume manga written by Maki Kazumi and illustrated by Yukine Honami. It's about a single couple.

Toru is your run-of-the-mill student who doesn't think there's anything special about him, especially compared to his honor student best friends. He loves to paint and is part of the art club at school. He's also had a crush on Ryoji for a long time but has never acted on the feelings because he didn't want Ryoji to think he was weird and end their friendship.

Ryoji is Toru's best friend. He's an honor student, part of the swim club, and constantly going out with girls he gets bored with after having sex a few times. He's quite brash and will go for something when he wants it without questioning it, even when it comes to his unexplained feelings for Toru.

So what's it about? One day, Toru and Ryoji are having lunch alone (they usually have another friend with them, see) when Ryoji suddenly turns to Toru and says he gets turned on looking at him. Toru is flustered and Ryoji explains that he has no idea where these feelings are coming from. They forget about it until Ryoji walks up to Toru after school a day or two later and says he wants to try having sex with him. The following is pretty much your average soap opera plot: they have sex, Toru thinks Ryoji doesn't have feelings for him so feels guilty and attempts to break it off, etc etc. It's not a bad manga, just a bit formulaic.

I won't be showing any pages in this entry, because I have a physical copy but no scanner, and all the scanlations I've found online are frankly terrible. If you'd like to see it for yourself, though, go ahead.

Desire is, as you might have gotten from my description, heavy on the sex. It's a good read, though, along with its novel companion, which has more story than the manga covers. It's good initiation material for someone who wants heavier yaoi but not the kind of kinks and fetishes that come with more hardcore stuff XD Desire is put out by June and can be ordered online if you're interested. Happy reading!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Yaoi Manga Monday- Cafe Latte Rhapsody


And we return to this feature, since I always have time to procrastinate on things I should be doing, like writing or schoolwork or you know, anything else.

Cafe Latte Rhapsody is one of the most fluffy, lighthearted manga I've ever read. It centers around a single couple.

Hajime Serizawa, often called Seri-san or Seri-chan, is a twenty-three-year-old bookstore clerk in charge of the science and technology shelves in the store he works at. He's very lighthearted most of the time, openly gay and not shy about sex. He also tends to fall for guys who are no good, by his own admission: guys who drink, or ones who gamble away their paychecks and go to him for money. He also has a soft spot for kittens. Seri lives on his own in an apartment, though Keito practically lives there once they get together.

Keito Tsuda MacLeod is 6'5 and part Japanese, French-Canadian, French and Chinese. He's nineteen-years-old and goes to the university near the bookstore Seri works at, often going in there to browse the shelves after class. He has an incredible inferiority complex, mostly stemming from being gawked at all his life because of his height and the fact that his childhood friend, "Riri-chan" often puts him down, saying he's gross and annoying. In fact, after hearing Seri say he tends to fall for no-good guys, Keito asks Riri-chan if he's no-good, and her answer is "No-good? You're super no-good! Not much of a man, either." He has his moments, such as when he pulls Seri's ex-boyfriend off him when said ex-boyfriend tries to seduce Seri into giving him money. Besides Seri, Keito's favorite thing in the world is cafe latte with extra sugar. When Keito and Seri first meet, Seri is terrified of him because despite his kitten-like disposition, Keito has an incredibly intense glare.

So what's it about? Cafe Latte Rhapsody is more of a slice-of-life type manga with a couple different plots. The first one is Seri and Keito getting together. They bond over a couple of kittens they find abandoned while walking on the same street one day. A few days after that, they get cafe lattes together, and Keito explains to Seri how scientists say that the universe is actually the color of a latte, as seen if you look in a high-powered telescope. There is conflict, such as the ex-boyfriend who constantly comes around to Seri's apartment asking for money and Seri's own inferiority complex about his looks, and the fact that he tends to over-think when it comes to relationships.

Case in point. Seri wondering about the end of relationships even as Keito is asleep with his head in his lap >_>

Still, it's a basically sweet manga and actually the exact kind of thing I've been wanting to read for a long time. For those familiar with the yaoi stereotypes, the "bottom" partner in sex tends to be younger, more naive and less sexually experienced, while the "top" partner tends to be the exact opposite. Cafe Latte Rhapsody pretty much flips that around, since Keito ends up being the, ah, "dominant" one in bed. Hah!

Cafe Latte Rhapsody is put out by June, so if you're interested in it, you can probably order it online or find it in your local bookstore if they carry yaoi. Happy reading!