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1. I'm still getting annoying pharmaceutical marketing spam on my lj - now one daily, so am trying to do cross-posting from DW again to see if this makes a difference.

2. Eh, someone, I ganked it from [profile] frenchani but I have no idea if she invented it, has come up with a 30 day book meme to equal the 30 day tv meme. I think I like the tv meme better, I'm less indecisive about television than I am books. Books? I read a lot. Can't remember half of it. And can't choose which one I loved or which was most memorable, and it tends to depend on my mood. Also my memory of books is wonky - I remember the Great Gatsby which I read over 30 years ago, but I can't remember the book I read two months ago. In short, I've read more books and far more widely than tv shows.

So with the caveat that I'm agnostic about my opinions and while most likely change my mind next week...here goes nothing:

Day 01 – The best book you read last year

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - it is also the only one I remember clearly at the moment. All the others are becoming one big blur in my memory banks. The Fault in Our Stars should not work. It's essentially a romance between two teenagers with terminal cancer, except at the same time, it's not quite. The writer, though, had a story in his heart to tell that he'd attempted to tell one way, didn't work, years passed, he wrote other things, then he came back to it another way - through a point of view not his own. He'd been a chaplain in a children's cancer ward before becoming a writer. He tried to write about his experiences - it did not work. Understandably. Rule number 1 - don't write about yourself or from your point of view. Years later, he meets NerdFighter - a nerdy/geeky girl and a few other nerdy geeky cancer kids, and the story takes off in his head. Hazel Grace is born. And she's amazingly insightful.

If you've ever been a fan of a book or movie. Ever written meta. Scanned spoiler boards. Obsessively hunted down news for the next chapter, sequel, or thread in a story that appears to have abruptly ended or been cancelled - this novel was made for you. Because the two kids go on a quest of sorts to find the writer of a book they adore, their favorite book in the world - to get the writer to tell them what happened to the characters at the end of that book. What happened next.

Which in a way, if you think about it...is a nice metaphor about life - we all want to know what happens next to the characters we've met in our own stories...but life being life, doesn't always decide to tell us.

At any rate it's a book that I might forget one month, but seems to jump back into my mind the next.


Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than three times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favorite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people have read
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favorite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time


3.Day 04 - Your favorite show ever

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(Angel the series - sort of necessary to watch with it, just to give it texture.)


Not even those horrible comic books could kill my love of this wonderful series. I want to tell people not to read the comics. Just watch the TV show. Skip the comics, skip the movie. Only watch Buffy and Angel...because if you watch both...that gives it texture.

A television series that I did not expect to love, and only watched to well see Anthony Stewart Head. I actually went in with very low expectations and a bit of a grudge, since VR5 was cancelled the year before and Buffy replaced it, and I liked Darryl Hannah and Michael Easten better than bitchy Sarah Michelle Gellar. But...over time...the writing, acting, comic timing, and tongue firmly in cheek sardonic wit won me over. Then over time...it got better. Not only did it get better, it broke rules, took bizarre risks, and played with the medium. This is possibly the only series outside of MASH that I've watched all the way through more than five times, and I watched MASH multiple times in order to write a media essay for a college course. Buffy I watched multiple times for personal pleasure. I wrote essays on it. Fanfic. I hadn't written anything close to fanfic since I was 17. I discovered a fandom and became an active member of it - which I'd never done. This show spoke to me on an intellectual and emotional and gut level.

Proof of how you can be rewarded by sticking with something, committing to it. It started out as breezy fun and became something you could teach a college course on.

Yes, I see its flaws. It is far from perfect. There are television shows that I'm fully willing to admit are better written, produced, and well acted. Breaking Bad comes to mind. But I will never re-watch those shows 20 times until the DVDS and VHS are broken. I won't write meta or fanfic on them. They don't touch my heart in the same way. In an odd way, Buffy's flaws are what endeared it to me. It broke boundaries regarding gender dynamics and roles, it played with how people view gender roles, how we view death, god, and destiny. On the surface - it was a typical heroes journey and below that a tale about surviving high school, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah...but peel back that layer, you get a critique on gender in pop culture, on sexual politics and power plays, and
growing up in a wonky and unpredictable universe where the good guys don't always wear white hats.
It may be the only series that addressed the emotional pain of 9/11 in a way that made sense to me.
The rage, and the post-traumatic stress...the sense of falling. And it is the only series that ever got across what it means or feels like to have someone close to you die.

Day 05 - A show you hate
Day 06 - Favorite episode of your favorite TV show
Day 07 - Least favorite episode of your favorite TV show
Day 08 - A show everyone should watch
Day 09 - Best scene ever
Day 10 - A show you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Day 11 - A show that disappointed you
Day 12 - An episode you've watched more than 5 times
Day 13 - Favorite childhood show
Day 14 - Favorite male character
Day 15 - Favorite female character
Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show
Day 17 - Favorite mini series
Day 18 - Favorite title sequence
Day 19 - Best TV show cast
Day 20 - Favorite kiss
Day 21 - Favorite ship
Day 22 - Favorite series finale
Day 23 - Most annoying character
Day 24 - Best quote
Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)
Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale
Day 27 - Best pilot episode
Day 28 - First TV show obsession
Day 29 - Current TV show obsession
Day 30 - Saddest character death.


4. Watching the State of the Union Address or half-watching. Not a huge fan of these things. Less talking, more doing. Never been a fan of grand-standing and marketing and speechifying. I don't think I quite understand it...I'm the sort who likes to do things quietly behind the scenes, where they get mysteriously done and no one knows I did.

5. Finished Judith McNaught's Paradise. Eh. Liked it well enough, but I Don't recommend. It's a best-seller. About the VP of an upper class Department Store Chain in Chicago and a Corporate Raider who is a self-made man. 1980s. Enuf said.

Speaking of best-seller's and books, I sent my book to another friend to read. Only first 104 pages. Not quite sure why. I don't know what I should do with it I guess. Told her that. And she made an interesting comment.

I was contemplating the whole self-publishing thing and the feedback you have been getting. I guess my question is what your ultimate goal is. If you love to write and can't not, then there's no problem. But if you are hoping to create best-sellers, then you might need to integrate the feedback you're getting.

But it's completely up to what your call is for you-and everyone is different...not that you haven't considered this all before....it's just my 2 cents :-)



Here's the thing? I'm not mainstream. About as far as you can get from it actually. The world goes right, I go left. Mainly because I can't remember which is left or right most of the time.

But You probably already know that - hello, I'm blogging on lj and dw and have written meta on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Plus my novel contains a chapter with an identity thief discussing the morals of Wile E. Coyote with her blind boyfriend who doesn't know she's an identity thief. Not exactly best-seller/page-turner material. Actually, I'm always a bit surprised when people friend me on lj or dw or read me. I know I'm off the beaten path. My sister-in-law calls me eccentric.

So, if I write a best-seller? It'll purely be by accident. While I've read best-selling fiction, I can't say I like it all that much or respect it. Most of it is sort of forgettable. But it tends to be fairly plot-driven not character driven. And I'm the exact opposite as you know, I'm more character driven both as a reader and a writer.

Tailoring my novel to be a best-seller would require me to remove everything that I love about it, what I wanted to say, the whole point that I wrote it. Because honestly? From my pov? Plots are a dime a dozen. There are no original plots. They can't be copyrighted for a reason. But characters...are original things. And how the characters grow and change and evolve and learn - that's original. (Which may explain why I've never written fanfic that well - it tends to be more plot oriented than character oriented, since hello, you already have the characters drawn for you. There are exceptions of course - and those exceptions are the fanfic stories I love the most where the writer is basically doing a lengthy psychological and philosophical examination of the character.) Don't get me wrong - I think plot is important. But in a lot of best-sellers and page turners, it's all that is important, the characters are interchangeable.

My story has a plot. A good plot. But the heart of it is the smaller moments.

At work, I have my writing ripped apart. I remove sentences. I remove paragraphs. I write concisely. Precisely. Dumb it down. Give the cliff-notes version. Or write detailed accounts of what occurred. It's all plot, dry plot. Regulated. Pitch perfect.

I can't do that creatively. It's why this blog is so..undisciplined. My stories...have to meander and wander, the characters are quirky, and there's snarky dialogue. I don't want to write Mr. Churchill's Secretary or Maisie Dobbs or 50 Shades of Gray or Eat Pray Love or Gone Girl...I want to write Motherless Brooklyn, A Visit to the Goon Squad, Monsters of Pembleton Place - although not quite.

But I am afraid of self-publishing. I've watched my father self-publish, after twisting himself in knots trying to write a book that publishers will publish and paying an agent who did zip...he self-published ten novels. His books are lean, plot-driven, and follow the rules. But still no best-sellers. And he has no patience for marketing. My Dad self-published before it became cool.

I don't know what to do. Should I blog it here on a tight filter? Would anyone here be remotely interested in reading it in a tight filter? I fear to even ask that question. How embarrassing would it be if no one wanted to read it? Or worse told me it was crap? Or worse yet, said they did, then never said anything - no response, none at all. That's why I stopped trying to post or write fanfic - I got relatively few responses, almost none. It's enough to give one a complex.
And yet, you feel silly for getting one.

Writing is a painfully lonely sport. You do it alone. Inside your head. And when you share it - you run the risk of having it ripped to shreds. I go on Amazon and read the negative reviews.
I read a discussion thread about the worst books ever read...and some of the choices were interesting in that they were all books that had been or currently were on the best-seller list.
I guess money softens the blow?

Yet, yet...Writers want to be read. It's the only way we know if we are communicating our thoughts at all well. There really is no point to writing - if people can't read it. My book wants to be read. I'm not sure I care if I make money at it. Sure I dream about it. Like I dream about winning the lottery. But what I want...is for it to be read and to have someone out there...get it, heart it, feel it...in their soul. I just don't quite know how to make that happen. Blog? Self-Publish?
Let it go??

This comment was originally posted at http://shadowkat.dreamwidth.org/. You can comment on it if you see it there or here. There's no ads, pop-up or otherwise over there, so you want to comment over there.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sophist
Feb. 13th, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC)
Right there with you on Buffy. Shoulder to shoulder, I might say.

That book meme is too long, but LOTR might well be my answer to many of them. That or Sherlock Holmes. The Princess Bride would come close.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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