Monday, January 30, 2012

My Favourite Joke and Thoughts on Beta Reading

A young mother gets on a bus with a stroller. As she’s paying her fare the bus driver looks down at her child and says “Gawd, what an ugly baby!”

The woman is too shocked to respond. She pushes the stroller down the aisle and takes a seat next to an older lady. The older woman looks over and sees that the woman’s face is scrunched up as though she’s about to cry.

“What’s wrong, dearie?” the old lady asks.

“The bus driver just now, he really insulted me,” the woman said. The older lady scowls at the back of the bus driver’s head.

“Well, that’s not right! You shouldn’t just take it. At the next red light, you should go up to him and tell him that you’re not going to take that kind of treatment!”

The young mother looks down at her sleeping child and brushes the curls off his forehead. She nods, her jaw firm.

“That’s right,” she said. “I’m going to do exactly that!”

“Good!” the older woman says. She gestures at the stroller. “I’ll look after your pet monkey while you talk to him.”

Ba-dum tish! Okay, it’s a cheesy joke, but I find it sadly relatable. Whenever I ask people to read an early draft of a story I’m working on I worry that I’m like the mother in the joke, convinced that my baby is the most beautiful baby in the world where’s in reality it looks like a hairless lemur.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Girl with a Beef against The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I don’t like this book. There are a lot of reasons, though the more controversial elements of the novel (like the fact that it has more rape in it than ten issues of a DC comic book) are actually pretty low on the list for why I think it’s no good. I’ll let others argue about whether it’s effective in its themes and message, whether it’s actually feminist or merely exploitive. There are lots of blogs out there already tackling that. My reason for disliking TGwtDT boils down to the writing.

This post will probably make a lot more sense if you’ve read the book, though if you haven’t you can still read it and be entertained by me ranting against the work of a dead guy who can’t refute my points. I try to avoid major spoilers here, but I do talk about later scenes in the book so be warned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Problem number one: What to call blog?

So, in order to increase my web presence, I've decided to start a blog (again) about my life as a writer. For the most part this is just a place for me to keep track of what is going on around me, a place where I can note contest deadlines, writing tips, link to better blogs, etc. I had planned to start blogging at the beginning of 2012, but before I could start ignoring my blog, I had to name it. This took me several weeks.

Some early ideas I had revolved around puns. Whenever I thought of one that I thought might make a good blog title, I'd Google it. I have since learned that if you think of a good pun, fifty other people will have already thought of it and half of them will have blogs with it as the title. The Write Stuff, Write On, Walk Towards the Write, Write and Wrong, Left and Write, it never stops. So puns were out.

I thought of putting my vocabulary to work and giving it some really pretentious title. For awhile I considered christening this blog 'The Eidetic Amnesiac.' I thought it was a pretty good description of me in that I can remember in great detail books, movies, and arguments where I was totally in the right, but I often forget little things, like, say, turning off the coffee marker. I also liked that it was an oxymoron (my back-up title was 'The Waking Somnambulist,' which was also very oxymoronic and scored high points in the big words column). In the end I decided that 'The Eidetic Amnesiac' was just too lofty. I just wouldn't be able to keep up the level of snobbery that that title deserved.

Since highbrow was out, I thought of going in the opposite direction and just naming my blog after whatever was on Urban Dictionary's main page that day. At this point I was getting pretty desperate, but even then I still knew that Hippocampus, Yestergay, and Free Coochin' were not what I was looking for in a blog title.

So there I was sitting in front of my computer, eating a sugar cookie, trying to figure out what to name this baby. I looked at the cookie in my hand and thought 'I eat to much sugar.' Most people would think that this is a totally unrelated thought, but not in my mind. My brain took this stray thought and melded it together with my blog, and in a fit of laziness I had my blog title. Finally.

So, now that this blog has a name, here are some posts you have to look forward to:

-The crazy things we do for love and research
-What's up with the 'Wacky Gator' arcade game?
-Three times the universe conspired to give me free food
-My issues with 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I can stomach disturbing content, but not bad writing)
-Links I like

I plan to update at least once a week by posting every Monday. So, see you then!