Monthly Archives: June 2011

This book is like Oranges and Mandarins, but the Feng Shuei is wrong.

I just received a Publishers Weekly advertising for a book tagged as “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter”.  Apart from evoking strange if not upsetting images (last thing I want to see is a narrative of anorexic wizards, thank you very much), I hate this tagging. I think it’s diminishing. I don’t believe it accomplishes what is supposed to do (according to publishing dictates): clearly box-in the new book in the right shelf, alongside his similar-genre/topic/theme cousin books.

I don’t know what The Hunger Games is. A book? An Olimpic sport? Latest fad? Survival film?

I know what Harry Potter is. I have my issues with it, I really like some of it (oh, the dragons and the world-building and Sirius Black and the Deatheaters and all that), dislike some of it (Yes, Harry let yourself be physically punished and abused in school and decide NOT to tell anyone, passing on this advice to another pupil as well…grrr).

But do I want to approach a new book with this half ignorance/half bias mix in me? Not really. I’d rather know what this book is about, not what is perhaps a bit like, or, and little bit like that, too. As it is, I’m thinking anorexic child-wizard. No thank you.

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Reading

Reading (eta: as in the act of reading) is amazing.

More later.

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The little voice in my head

Do you listen to the voices in your head? I confess, I do. They have given me the best advice most of the times, and then I went ahead and acted sensibly and things turned out, well, differently.

Now, the little voice in my head is whispering: “Why don’t you switch the set up to a Steampunk-ish sort of setting? Do it, do it, you know you want to…”

So insidious. So sweet a voice! It’s something I do need to think about, though, because, well. I never thought I would write something not-scifi set (or dystopic, or au, etc). And yet here I am, dealing with Victorians.

There’s a chance my little voice is wording my fears about historical plausibility (since historical I don’t mean or planned it to be anyway).

For the moment, I’ll throw chocolate at my little voice (it does keep her quiet) 🙂

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What is it about writing and night-time?

I ask myself (and by proxy, all of you floating out there in the ether)…why? I try to live a balanced life, and it destroys my creative juices. Night comes, and although sleepy, there I go, hell bent on juggling words on the page.

Tis mostly annoying.

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Normalcy Imposed

 

 

The Imposition of Normalcy is something I’m writing about in my novel (there, I said it, I’m writing a novel. O-em-gee. Tis terrifying, but that’s another post). I’d like to say, this isn’t new, and it’s been going on for a long, long time. Far from generally blaming the males of the species (who have to comply with some of this same imposition), all those involved in the industry are to blame. They are building a pantheon of deities who are further and further away from the reality of us…any woman buying at a Sale will have noticed, how the small sizes are the ones still available, the 6s and the 8s and the 10s. Some women are naturally very slim, indeed, and some are to the point of childlike-ness. But the majority aren’t.

And my point is, you can see it. And you can realize how much and how deeply all of this is internalised when you watch television, and a woman appears on the screen, and you think  ‘something strange, there. Something unusual…oh yes. She’s got curves. She looks..chubby.’  She’s not chubby. You’re just not used to see a shape of any sort on the mannequin.

This relates to writing, in a way (doesn’t everything relate to writing, in the end?) Just like we should retain (females and males and those forced into this binary system of ours) a strong sense of individuality in our bodies and their shape, unique as they are for each of us, in the same way our writing should retain the idea, the theme, the tone and structure, the purpose and narrative position of the story we want to tell.  Not the story that may sell more, or the one trending now, the fashionable memoir or crime thriller, the over-long fantasy, the insipid but high brow literary one.

The one we want to tell, our way.

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Moaning and whining and complaining

I just realized I need to subscribe to each blog individually in order to read them all in one place *insert sigh here*.
Livejournal automated that ages ago. Oh well:)
Working working working. An incoming post about multitools.
The amazing thing always is…reminding yourself you do enjoy writing. Deadlines come and go, but one shouldn’t let them erase the joy of writing. Whatever happens, the writing will still be there.

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RELOAD: blogs; journals; writing time

I thought long and hard about my issues with writing in this blog.  In theory, there shouldn’t have been any: I can ramble on for hours on all sorts of topics (yes, I’m opinionated). I’ve had a Livejournal since 2003, where I’ve been posting my thoughts, my fanfiction (yes, I do write it, less now than before, but I hope/wish to find time to keep on writing it), my reviews of books and films. What’s another blog, then?

The difference is not just in the name  – although blog smacks of achievement and masculinity, whereas journal evokes intimate sharing… and sometimes this cliche’ is true, and sometimes it really, really isn’t. There’s a software/user interface difference, too: the way in which people can comment in Livejournal entries is a lot more interactive than the comments left on blogs. There’s the fact that on LJ I’m part (more or less active) of a vast community (media fandom) with a rich subset of other communities flowing and overlapping (from academic interest to digital editing to writing). Here on this blog, I confess to feeling isolated, unsure of the scope of this writing.

In part, it’s simply a time consuming activity. Apparently, writers today need to create an online presence for themselves to compete in the increasingly ferocious publishing market (if you detect bitterness, yes, multiply it by ten).

I have a Facebook account to keep in touch with friends and fellow writers in my course (and some of my friends don’t live in the same country as me, so it’s useful).

I have a Twitter account to keep in touch with other interests (I’m trying to keep it focused on the writing world, but a few friends and some fun have sneaked in as well) and hey, for the novelty of it.

And  as mentioned, I have a LiveJournal, which I’ve severely neglected, and the friends in that virtual community have been there for me (and hopefully I’ve been there for them) for the past ten years of my life: exchanging ideas, supporting each other, encouraging creativity, learning to comment and criticize and read between the lines.

I have a family, a partner, and friends who do live here, and I like to see them now and then.

In conclusion, initially I resented this blog, I considered it as one more intrusion, one more chore. But there’s a happy ending: like in most business ventures, diversification is the key to prosperity. I started a journey, me as a writer, and I will keep this blog focused on this journey. Not in a tracking-after way, but in a leaping forward and ranting and whining and furiously writing Me-As-Writer way.

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