Some weeks

Some weeks, the words flow, the chapters seem to write themselves, and submitting my work feels effortless. Some weeks I have no trouble feeling like a writer. 

Some weeks, but not this week. 

This week every word felt like walking through water, pulling teeth, and any other cliche you can pull out of your hat. I got some rejections, which certainly didn’t boost my confidence. No matter how much I expect it, or how many times it happens, it’s still difficult. 

I didn’t finish any stories, or make any remarkable progress on the bigger projects I’m working on, but I did get some things done. I did some outlining, lots of thinking about plots and ideas, and I bought a new notebook. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that something is better than nothing. There’s a new week right around the corner. Maybe it won’t be one of the easy, productive weeks. Maybe it will be another difficult week. No matter what the weeks brings, I’m going to keep working. I’m going to make progress. I’m going to write. 

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Spoilers, Sweetie

I don’t give a damn about spoilers. There, I said it.

I don’t care if you want to tell me the end to a story, or the twist, or whether Jane and John end up together in the end. Spoil away, folks! I’ll just smile and keep on reading/watching/enjoying the story.

If a story is so dependent on a twist that knowing about that twist ahead of time is going to ruin the story, it isn’t a good story. Except in rare cases, twists do not make good stories. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good twist. I love the feeling of everything in a story shifting ever so slightly. A good twist is an amazing thing. However… too often twists are put in a story simply for the shock value. I’ve found that most of the time if a spoiler is going to ruin a book/movie/tv show for me, it probably wasn’t worth reading/watching in the first place.

My favorite part of movies and books is watching the story unfold. I love seeing all the moving pieces come together, seeing how the characters grow and change. For me, a story is always about the journey. I don’t watch a romantic comedy because I want to know whether the characters end up together at the end–I know they do! I want to see how they get there.

I don’t usually actively seek our spoilers, but sometimes knowing the events of a story can make it even more enjoyable. Let’s take an example that so many of us were “spoiled” on: Game of Thrones. If you read the books you know the major things that are going to happen. You know that certain characters are going to die at certain times. For me, this makes the viewing experience better. I’m emotionally prepared to lose that character, and to see all of the bloodshed. Instead of being blinded by the shock of what I’m seeing, I can pay attention to the details.

Of course, my attitude towards spoilers isn’t for everyone. Some people like the shock, and that’s fine. Far be it for me to tell anyone how to approach their entertainment.

How do you feel about spoilers? And writers out there–how do you feel about writing twists into your work?

 

Time and Again

Time travel is one of my favorite things, so whenever I come across a book or a movie with it that I haven’t experienced yet I get really excited. Somehow I had completely missed out on Jack Finney’s classic illustrated novel Time and Again.

I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to embrace it as a new favorite and read the sequel and reread it again and again like I do with all my favorites. Well, I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it either, but there were so many things that bothered me while I was reading the book that I can’t ignore. It was casually sexist and racist, it completely idealized the 1880s, and honestly I found Si kind of annoying.

That said, there were a lot of things I liked about it. I loved the pictures and sketches, and he was certainly a master of description. I almost felt like I was there, seeing 1880s New York City. My favorite part was the chapter on the fire.

Really great time travel fiction, or even regular old historical fiction, can bring to life a horror of the past that we don’t think about today. I don’t spend a lot of my time worried about fire. We have fire exits, great firefighters with the best equipment, sprinklers and fire extinguishers. Fire can still be devastating, but I don’t think they effect modern lives in quite the same way they did people in the past. I’ve read about terrible fires before, but nothing has quite made me feel the horror like Time and Again. It was worth getting through the other stuff in the book for that horror of reading those chapters and feeling the fear of people trapped in a burning building.

That is my favorite feeling when reading–to find something that you thought you understood, but then to feel it on a deep level. What books have you read that made you understand something about the world or the past?

The most sporatically updated blog in the world!

Once again, my life has taken a new direction. We moved, we got a cat, I’m job hunting again. While I hope that one of the many resume I’ve sent out will hit the right person at the right time, I’m playing housewife/writer/full time cat caretaker. Here’s a picture of the little furball:

simon

Part of this unemployment thing is having lots of time to write, which is wonderful. I’m working on a new science fiction novel, writing lots of short stories, and I’ve even broken out of my usual sff comfort zone to try writing a romance novella. After months of working multiple jobs and having zero time to write at all, it’s strange and wonderful to have unlimited free time. Hopefully I’ll find library work again sooner rather than later, but in the meantime I’m going to write up a storm and read, read read. I’ll be reviewing books here again soon–so watch out for that!

See ya around, readers. Hopefully it won’t be another handful of months before I check in again!