Coming down to what’s main

Star Wars: Aftermath is getting tighter at the midway point of the story. This novel started with variety, but now the story is converging to focus on what’s main. It makes for interesting reading.

For me, the beauty of enjoying the novel for all that it’s worth is to take breaks between chapters. In that way something that sounds lacking in one moment, sounds better in another moment, after a day away from the book.


Not trying to be anything more

We all know those moments in stories when something “unbelievable” happens. They make us groan. It couldn’t have happened like that, one says about the implausible touch or scene. It’s balanced out with the much required “realism”, more or less.

These kind of moments come quick and fast at end of chapter fourteen in Star Wars: Aftermath, which is what I have been reading. Though it’s more on the unbelievable side than the realistic side, it is still a punchy fast paced piece of rousing entertainment which is not trying to be anything more.

Sharp and punchy this one

Finished part one of the post-Return of the Jedi story Star Wars: Aftermath (2015) and am onto part two. I was feeling this Aftermath may be repetitive, it’s labyrinthine plot not moving along. But just as I was feeling it was dragging along, it becomes compelling again. Perhaps it’s a subtle plot so far, but that does not detract mostly. It’s still compelling and keeps you guessing where it’s going to head. It’s a good read, sharp and punchy, this mass market paperback.

Some writer’s unusual journey

One can write instinctually and get published if it goes well. Later on, if necessary, one can smoothen out the rough patches of one’s instinctual style and become a better writer. Therefore one has had experience on one’s side, publishing credits, and an eye to improve for that next piece and the one after that and the one after that…until the writer reaches a plateau of something satisfactory to his or her eye. Then there are more things he may need to improve on. Later he starts thinking, I can relax. He’s done his best and whatever the publisher thinks, he’s always done his best.

Now it’s Aftermath

So, I’ve got to reading Aftermath, the book immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi in the Star Wars narrative (a narrative which requires a mapping much like the lands that are sketched in fantasy novels. This would be a huge undertaking considering all the stories involved, but should be fascinating to read).

Aftermath is a compelling read.

The outline is compelling in itself and the storytelling is compellingly presented.

I’ll look at the outline because my last post on Star Wars was about how Aftermath continues the story of the Empire and the Rebellion though there is no hint of its continuation in Return of the Jedi.

The Rebellion, the good guys, became heroes for executing victories over the Empire, victories which punctuated the original trilogy. (The prequel trilogy was not positive like this, as heroes fall and the Empire is born to oppress planets for decades.)

In Aftermath, the Rebellion is consolidating it’s wins and establishing the New Republic which is based on democracy.

The Empire is scrambling to reassert itself. The survivors of the Empire, the “dregs”, are contemplating what their arsenal will be.

In this one, the Rebellion has the advantage from the start, which is a first in the Star Wars stories I’ve seen and read.

It seems the Empire’s fight back will be short-lived…as the First Order takes over the “mantle” of evil, oppression and greed in Episode VII onwards. But how the empire dissolves, if it does, will be interesting.


Alternative journey

I had a flash of inspiration. My updates on my writing project may be less for a little while as I republish, on a regular basis until complete, many of my old articles on

This republishing project may take about a year or so or thereabouts, but during this process I will still post on this blog about books, movies, music, individual unique words, and musings and poetry at

After republishing, I will continue to tackle my writing project/s.

That sweet day of chocolate renaissance

Not that I’m always intent on what I should eat, as if food is something not to be enjoyed, but my obsession with reducing sugar begun with thinking about my diet. I have less processed sugar because I believe less of it is good for me.

I believe the experts when they say that processed sugar should be eliminated from our diet, but of course I’m not perfect as I nick off with a chocolate, more motivated by a sweet friendly environment than biology.

My obsession with sugar has produced unforeseen consequences: empathy with food documentaries such as That Sugar Film and finding wise articles about the make-up of our food such as Just a Matter of Taste in the TV Guide. One could say I’m hooked—on taking less sugar as much as possible that is.

That Sugar Film is a 2014 Australian documentary that positions itself on the side of the debate that says added sugar in food is not good for you. I agree. In fact, I’m adamant, because I’ve been off juice drinks for over a year now, with a couple of relapses here and there, and I think I’m better for it. I don’t miss these drinks by and large. The taste for them has basically gone.

In the documentary one interviewee said that “addiction to sugar” has caused materialism, in that people will buy sugary products that satisfy their cravings for more sugar. Sugar can be addictive so there’s a need for more.

Perhaps there is a better way of having what we like and not getting fat. TV Guide article—Just a Matter of Taste—raises an interesting point about having sweet food with less sugar in an interview with Michael Mosley, the presenter of the documentary The Secrets of Your Food that screens tonight in some parts of the world.

Mosley says in the article that the aroma molecules of sweet tasting fruit, such as strawberries, trick the brain into thinking there’s more sugar in it than there actually is.

If scientists can learn how fruits, which contain less sugar, but give off that sweet taste, it may help in reducing sugar content in foods (and still taste sweet). [TV Guide, February 10-16, Just a Matter of Taste, by James Rampton].

There are those of us who hold out hope for the day when we can eat chocolate that tastes salubriously sweet, just like a strawberry, and the amount of sugar is reduced very significantly.

Underneath, we all get that sneaking feeling–is that chocolate doing me any good? In the health conscious West, we all could do we a little light relief on those days when one has an appetite for a chocolate and one knows eating one is better than the bad old days.