Book Review – Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona, a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson, is a cozy read. It takes place in a world where the bad guys are often more admirable than the good guys. The hero and the villain have a backstory that adds depth to what could have been a fairly shallow story in less caring hands. 

Note: You can also read this review on Goodreads.

In fact, you could say that about every aspect of Nimona. It could’ve easily fallen into cliche, but never does. It’s familiar enough to be comfortable but different enough to be unique, and the ending will give you the feels without pummeling you over the head EMOTIONS.

Nimona, a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson

I think Noelle Stevenson was very smart about how she added complexity to Nimona. Every major character has a secret, a defining flaw that shapes how they view the world. It’s an excellent device that creates compelling character arcs for all without belaboring the storytelling.

Beyond this, there’s an underlying sweetness to the characters that took me by surprise. This is where the coziness comes from. Things have happened to them that forces them to be at odds with each other, but there are stronger forces that keep them coming back to each other even in the worst of times.

But even though it’s sweet doesn’t mean it’s bland or without a touch of darkness. Every character has a hidden depth, but I don’t want to give any of it away as it’s integral to the story being told. Suffice to say, what you see on the surface of any character is a result of something else that will be revealed in time. It’s a balance that works really well.

Five Panels from Nimona, a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson

The artwork is simple yet charming. The characters have just enough complexity to keep you engaged the whole way through. And the plot has one or two twists and turns which aren’t earth-shattering, but they are solid and fun. If you want an easy read that promises to be a good time with a perfect ending for the story it’s trying to tell, then I highly recommend Nimona.

I drew a balloon

I drew a balloon. I’m experimenting with drawing a series of things of a similar shape. No significance to anything really, except for there are a ton of balloons in the house from my kids 6th birthday. He’s so big now! Anyway, hope you like it. Trying to get back into drawing consistently again.

Your memories are rewritten every time you remember them

Memories – A Story of A Story of A Story

How much of your memory actually happened? Are you sure your perception of reality is correct? If you can’t remember the details of a movie you saw last month, how can you be sure the memories of your life—those imaginary images that define who you are in relation to the world—are memories at all?

You make up your memories anew every time you remember them based on all the information at hand. That means based on your current condition, or even the current social climate, the things you are remembering have actually been altered by your own brain. It happens to all of us. And the more you remember, the more the memory changes as it’s rebuilt over and over again.

I’ve been thinking about this lately since I started reading the book You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney which dives into the many tricks your brain pulls on you that alter the way you perceive the world and yourself. Get this. How can you know who you really are if your brain is constantly shifting the things that define you?

There’s no way in nature, that’s for sure. Only human invention gives us a way of peering back to see a version of ourselves that used to exist but has since been transformed by endless rewriting. Things like pictures, video, audio recordings, and even writing are can give us that glimpse. But even that is filtered through your current mind.

So when you watch a video of your younger self, you can imagine the feelings you might have felt. But the more you watch it, the more your memory of those feelings are rewritten, gradually transforming into a numbness. The more you remember, the more numb you become.

Maybe searching our past in an effort to define who we are is a bad thing. I don’t think this is a fresh idea. You’ve heard the phrase, “live in the now.” Lately I’m thinking that’s more relevant than I ever gave it credit for.

To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about my childhood. There a little images here and there. I remember stories that I’ve told about growing up, stories I’ve told myself, but I don’t really remember the experiences. I wonder if I’m alone in this, or if others remember only the stories the way I do. 

Leave a comment letting me know how your memory works. Do you actually remember events? When you think back, does it feel like you’re reliving a scene from a movie, or is it far removed from that? Are you like me, and everything’s a story of a story of a story?

And if you’re memory is altered with every remembering, how can you be certain of who you really are?

This blog post was inspired by You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney.

Why Scivener is the Best Novel Writing Software » Behind the Novel Ep. 1

I’ve been talking about making this series for about two months now, and I finally got around to making the first episode. Welcoming to Behind The Novel, the series where I’ll share my novel writing process every step of the way.

Originally I was going to just jump into showing you the writing process, but after a little consideration, I thought it best to start with the most prominent tool I use: Scrivener.

So this first episode is a brief introduction to Scrivener. You’ll learn why I like it, what benefits it provides, as well as be reminded that masterpieces are written using everything from Microsoft Word to typewriters to pen and paper.

So if you can’t afford Scrivener, never fear. In this case you’ll be in good company. I don’t think Dante used Scrivener either when he wrote The Devine Comedy.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video. There are more on the way.