Archive for August, 2009

off topic: blog rants

I’m not a fan of blog commenting. Weird, right, since I (occasionally) write my own blog you’d think I’d be all about the feedback of others. Eh. Mostly I write this blog to keep myself honest and to (occasionally) entertain my friends.

If I happen to find myself in the position of commenting on someone else’s blog, I try to keep it positive even if I don’t happen to agree with the opinion. We need less haters in this world, dammit! To be totally honest most of the comments I make are in the lemming vein of  “me too! LOL!”

Erudite stuff, folks.

However, there are times (occasionally) I’ll read a post and it will get me thinking and then I feel like maybe a more verbose comment is appropriate. This morning I found myself at such a crossroad.

I was rolling through my daily blogs and landed on this one from Lani Diane Rich. It apparently struck a chord with me. And so without further ado, here is the rant I posted in response to this article by Sarah Bilston:

It never fails to stun me how much vitriol is spewed when the subject of women’s fiction is introduced – and that the angriest spewers are women themselves. 

I read and write romance novels and I stand by the genre as a legitimate and profitable wing of the publishing industry. I find it sad and ridiculous that so little respect is given to – or demanded by – the writers, readers and publishers of this juggernaut of a genre. No other single genre – including the much vaunted “legitimate literature” – rakes in as much cash as romance/women’s fiction. So what does this tell us? 

People like to be entertained. 

People like to be entertained with fun and frivolity because it gives them a chance to step out of their own lives for a time, out of their responsibilities and wondering if the next paycheck is going to cover the mortgage, car insurance, daycare, whatever. I , personally, get enough of that stress in my daily life and I don’t need it to be the focus of my entertainment. 

But maybe that’s just me. 

Am I saying that if a story doesn’t come with a happy ending it’s worthless? Of course not. Because that would be *ridiculous* and erroneous. We need all types of stories because we are all types of people – and it never hurts for us to step out of our comfort zones and check out someone else’s flavor of entertainment. That’s how we grow. That’s how I have a library built on the collected works of Shakespeare, the Brontes, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, Lani-Diane Rich, Anne Stuart, PJ Tracy, Dan Brown, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut – and those are just my keepers that I can rattle off the top of my head. I’ll pick up any book that sounds like it’s got the goods by way of story. Because the beauty is that I will likely learn *something* from the experience, even if that is simply this writer’s style is not my cuppa. 

As for Ms. Bilston’s “Americanization” of this particular novel, I have to say that that I’m actually more interested in this new altered version. I will be making the effort to find this and see if it lives up the hype. And if not, no harm no foul. I’m certainly no worse off for spending a few days reading a novel following one woman’s journey than I would be rereading Romeo & Juliet (the biggest, fattest anti-romance out there). 

Not all stories are created equal. Not all books released under the “literature” or the “romance” tags are worth the paper they’re printed on. In fact, the great majority of them are mediocre leaning into truly awful. Not all books released by renowned authors are of the same caliber. But if you don’t try, if you don’t open your eyes and mind to the endless possibilities available then you will miss the true gems that pop up. 

Closed minds are everyone’s loss.

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off topic: OMG ROTFLMAO!!!

Olivia Wilde as The Baroness

Olivia Wilde as The Baroness

The Ballad of G.I. Joe.

And yes, that’s Alan Tudyk (xoxo), Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Henry Rollins, Olivia Wilde, and a whole bunch of other right minded folk. I haven’t seen anything this hilarious since Dr. Horrible. I kept expecting to see NPH roll through…

Jenny Crusie is trying to kill me…

or at least SRSLY hamper any productivity I may aspire to.

Things You Wouldn’t Know If We Didn’t Blog Incessantly. Beyawesome.

WIP: pausing to catch our breath…

So life threw me for a loop this last week – finding out about Blake, the Girl starting Kindergarden, doing a read through for one of my STC classmates – leading to getting absolutely no writing done. With any luck I’ll get back to the WIP today (fingers crossed).

Blake Snyder 1957-2009

Blake Snyder’s website has announced the Blake passed away this morning  Tuesday August 4th from cardiac arrest pulimary embolism.

I can’t really even begin to process this news. I just stopped by his blog literally after writing the previous post to insert the link… I am stunned.

I had the good fortune to take his 2 day workshop this last March. I learned SO much, from both Blake and my fellow students. One of the most prominent things I took from the experience was that writing isn’t rocket science, but you do have to LOVE what you’re doing or it won’t quite work. Watching Blake for those two days, I can tell you truly no one loved their job more than he did. It was, and still is, inspiring to me.

My heart goes out to his family and friends. If I am feeling the loss of him after only being a fan of his books and spending sixteen hours with him, I can only imagine what they are going through.

Blake will be sorely missed.

ETA: I’m sorry, it was just pointed out to me that Blake passed on August 4th, not today.

WIP: and we’re walking…

Friday morning. I got a good amount of work done last night. I didn’t actually *finish* the bones draft – yeah, yeah. However I took the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet which is 15 main beats and filled in all the blanks.

Blake’s contention is that in a 110 page script there are 15 beats/events that have to happen in a certain order and in certain places in order for the story to flow smoothly and for the movie-goer to get the payoff at the end. I love this type of stuff. I’m a paper pusher by trade and I generate spreadsheets and bullet-pointed lists like no one’s business, so this model is practically tailor made for me.

Once you get the 15 major beats in place, you fill in the other 25 or so scenes (Blake’s working on a 40 scene structure). Now my WIP is destined for a 15k word count, so I didn’t use all 40 spaces for scenes – no room. But I have a complete roadmap as of last night; filled in the last of the details.

It’s pretty exhilarating.

Now all I have to do is make the time to write this thing. Harder than it sounds, but I’m pretty motivated right now. I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes.

WIP: progress continues…

It’s Thursday, the last of my dedicated “me” nights. See on Tuesdays and Thursdays my mother-in-law watches my nubbins and the hubbin hauls them there and back – so I get an hour before work and one to two hours after work to wallow in glorious solitude.

It’s been a good run.

But as they say, “all good things come to an end.” On Monday the Girl starts Kindergarden, five days a week, and I will become the sole source of transportation. The Boy is also starting daycare two days a week so the hubbin will finally get his shot at Tuesdays and Thursdays of solitude. It’ll be good for him.

I’m going to miss it desperately.

So tonight is the night. I will come home, crack open a cider and get to work. The current WIP is pretty much blocked out in an expanded Blake Snyder Beat Sheet -I’ve taken the 15 main beats and broken it further into specific scenes. Feeling really strong about it right now.

I may just make it to that “end of the week” goal after all.