I’m Back! – Escape from the Snowstorm of DEATH!

I wish I was wise enough to take some pictures of what this storm did. There’s still branches down all over the place, but the day after the STORM OF DEATH hit Southington, CT, there was no power for at least a week (some still powerless), and I only just got internet back on Sunday. Roads weren’t closed, because frankly, there weren’t enough cops and barriers to go around to close all the roads. Instead, people were driving around and even through trees. Every 15 feet a tree was leaning against a wire, and one wire near my neighborhood was on fire, ON FUCKING FIRE,  for over 4 days at least. Cops and shit were there, looking at it, but I guess it wasn’t a big deal because they just let it burn. Damage was everywhere, and roads sucked.

It was fucking awesome. The only thing that sucked was the lack of power, but that wasn’t even that bad because I was able to catch up on something that I had forgot about for a long time.

Reading actual books. In four days I read 4 books:

The Hunger Games – 10/10 stars

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games part II) – 9/10 stars

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games part III) – 6/10 stars

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – 9/10 stars

I’ve been trying hard as FUCK to borrow the next two books in the Dragon Tattoo series. My mom, who read all of them and reads every second of the day every day of her life she must have read a small library by now, told me the second book was far better than the first, which BLOWS MY FUCKING MIND.

Lisbeth Salander might be the most awesome character in book history. Of course I watched the Swedish version of the movie, and of course it was nowhere even close to the book (the ending was all fucked up and they left out a LOT of revenge that made the book an explosion of awesomeness), but the American version, set to hit theaters next year, looks like it stays much truer to the book (I can tell from the trailers alone).

I plan on writing review for these books, because frankly, if I don’t, I’m going to explode. They were all fucking awesome. The Hunger Games is without doubt the second best series I’ve read since Harry Potter, which is untouchable. If you have any other books that you think I should read, let me know in the comments. So far these are books I’ve been looking at:

  • Eon  (Read a few pages in the store and liked it. Also has a bad-ass girl main character with swords)
  • Eona
  • Caster Chronicles series (Looks like it might be good, as long as it isn’t a shitty piece sappy shit)
  • Reckoning (Has a cool cover. That’s literally the only reason.)
  • All those Percy Jackson books (To be honest, they look dumb, but I keep hearing they’re dumb…..I could easily read 3 of them in one sitting, they’re not big or hard reads, but there’s still like….20384943 of them, and that confused me.)
  • Elrich (recommended by Anon.)
What has this sudden reading explosion done to me? (I actually went to the bookstore and almost bought about 7 books on a whim I LOVE reading).
Remember a while back I mentioned that I had a really cool dream that I was going to put in a post? No? Well I’m pretty sure I mentioned it. Either way, I was going to just mention it breifly in a small paragraph as a side, but then I decided I’d tell my dream in a story form, which would make a post that I thought would even be as big as 15000 words (fucking LONG). Well, that is no longer happening…
…..because it’s already over 15000 words, and I haven’t even gotten past introducing the characters yet. After reading, I got into a SEVERE writing mode, and ended up changing a whole bunch of shit in my dream, so that what I’m writing now is only loosely based on the dream I had. In wordpress, the story is about 30 pages long, so it’s conceivable that when I’m done writing, going back, re-reading, re-writing, adding, and repeating, I could have well over 300 pages (if I had a week with nothing to do I could easily finish this). I’ve noticed after reading (especially after reading Hunger Games, which has simple yet very effective writing), I’ve been able to pump words out as easy as breathing. I threw in about 15 new developments and even did RESEARCH. I did research for something that doesn’t count for school, doesn’t get me any money, and probably won’t be read by more than 2 people, one of them being me.
I’ll give you one example of something I changed:
In my dream, the main female character was pretty much Shana from Shakugan no Shana, but with ears and a tail. I wrote her as such.
Then I changed everything. Well, not everything. A lot of it though (in terms of personality). I made her more complex, a bit more bad-ass, less of a tsundere (even gave her tits, so she’s not flat chested), and a few other tweaks. Gave her a slightly troubled past and made her personality reflect that. I’d say she’s more like Horo than Shana at this point in my writing, but that’s going to change as the story gets deeper.
I kept her name Shana, but I’m planning on changing that. I also don’t like the main character’s name. In fact, the names are what I hate the most, and they’re going to change. I thought of Shye for the female lead, but it seems to boyish.
Hmm….should I give you all a summary of the story? Nah, you wouldn’t want to hear that.
I’m not sure when I’m going to finish this short novel, but I’m going to try and actually finish it this time, unlike the last 5 times I started writing a story and stopped after 30 pages (of course, they were all lost in one of my many computer crashes). Here’s a list of them:
  • Seven Angels (shitty title) – I don’t have a fucking clue what this was about. Some kid named Rob who met a girl and ended up having to fight a bunch of people in order to change the government or something. Lots of swords and super powers. Really dumb.
  • Blood Drops (Or something. Couldn’t think of a good title. I suck at titles.) – A kid in a mental ward kills his doctor…again. Thinks he’s a vampire. Throughout the first many chapters, you think he’s a crazy person, but then you realize he’s actually a real vampire. Then, the end leaves a bit of doubt as to whether he was a vampire or actually mental. Then Twilight came out and I lost all interest in vampires and shit. Way to go and ruin vampires for me Twilight. Stupid plot anyway.
  • Life – 4 related short stories that all resulted in death of the main character. It was actually my best idea. Each main character somehow caused the death of another main character from another one of the short stories. Wish I finished that one. The title was still shitty, but I liked it because it was called life, and depicted many different lives, yet they all resulted in death, showing that death was life. Get it? It’s deep and I’m a pretentious asshole.
There were a couple others that I really can’t remember anything about, but I’ve always enjoyed writing, even when it doesn’t mean shit for me in terms of money or popularity (they’d probably make me less popular lol), so whatever. Fuck it.
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38 thoughts on “I’m Back! – Escape from the Snowstorm of DEATH!

  1. Don’t even get me started on Hunger Games man. That shit is only better than Twilight because Meyer has literary pretensions and Collins never pretends to be doing anything other than jumping on the young adult money-making bandwagon. She just ripped off Battle Royale and a bunch of dystopian novels and added the obligatory 10-14 demo love triangle.

    Yeah, I’m a killjoy. Deal with it.

    • Never read Twilight, don’t plan on it because it looks like shit.

      Hunger games had awesome shit and the love triangle (at least I felt) was not really all that deep. Gale-

      (what a fucking stupid name anyone named Gale is a fucking piece of shit pussy I HATE that name it looks and sounds like such a pussy name I will beat the shit out of someone named Gale JUST because they are named Gale if I were named Gale I’d beat my own ass daily)

      -was barely mentioned throughout the series and to me was kind of a side (like…really side) character. But between the hunting and the brutal killing it definitely was not focused much on the love triangle aspect. In fact, Katniss said throughout the novel that she had feelings for neither, and never wanted to marry. (but she did, and their marriage looked like a sad sack of shit to me).

      I could care less if people rip other people off, as long as they make a good story, which this was. If people didn’t rip off other people and build on it, then we’d still be in the stone age, as technology would not advance.

      Either way, it was a bestseller. Numbers speak for themselves.

      • Statistically speaking, the more copies a book sells per year on average, the more likely it is to be populist garbage. I point you towards James Patterson and George R. R. Martin as two excellent examples of this rule in action.

        Exceptions? Tolkien wrote some fine stuff, but here, too, we see the phenomenon manifesting itself in the sense that his best work, The Silmarillion, has sold very few copies compared to Lord of the Rings (which was still very good).

      • You know what? You’re right. Anything that sells a lot of copies must surly be trash, because people would never buy something they like.

        That’s like hating something that’s popular just because it’s popular. What are you some kind of hipster? Anyone who bases quality of a book off of how many copies it sold is an idiot.

      • Well, first of all, the inverse relationship between quality and number of copies sold is more like the line of best fit on a scatterplot than a linear function–it’s just a generalization, and does not apply in all cases.

        People obviously do buy things that they like, and no one is disputing the fact that books that sell a lot of copies are liked by a lot of people. The point, however, is that the majority of people like things that are simply objectively recognizable as mediocre. Most people don’t read many books and possess only an average level of intelligence, which causes them to like works of literature that demonstrate only an average level of intelligence. I’m not trying to insult anyone, but this is the undeniable truth, and there is a huge amount of empirical evidence to support the hypothesis. Just one of the many prominent examples from the world of fantasy fiction is Terry Goodkind, who has sold something like 25 million copies worldwide and been translated into dozens of languages, despite producing some of the most poorly written drivel ever conceived. Contrast this to someone like the early twentieth century Anglo-Irish nobleman Lord Dunsany, who is one of the great masters of magic realism and yet has been relegated to relative obscurity by readers more interested in endless derivations of Tolkien (or the latest fad, “gritty” fantasy) than challenging literature.

        Anyway, I believe I only stated that when a book sells a lot of copies it is more likely to be populist garbage, not that such is automatically the case. I don’t think that this is any more “bas[ing] quality of a book off of how many copies it sold” than is your own earlier statement that “[The Hunger Games] was a bestseller. Numbers speak for themselves.”

        Finally, I’d like to mention that the only people I know who accuse others of being hipsters are generally just as deserving of that classification as those they target (if not more). Make of that what you will.

      • Finally, I’d like to mention that the only people I know who accuse others of being hipsters are generally just as deserving of that classification as those they target (if not more). Make of that what you will.

        Whoever smelt it dealt it?

  2. Yes! Books! Hoorah. I bloody love reading, nice to see someone else shares my obsession. My friends all look at me weirdly when I pop into a used book shop and buy ten or so books… well, if they’re cheap, get ’em! There’s this brilliant used book shop in my town that gets all the books libraries don’t want any more, as well as donations, and almost every single book is 50 pence to £1. Well, not every single one, the huge hardbacks cost £5 each, but still. It’s glorious.

    Ehhh, so what if The Hunger Games has motifs from Battle Royale, the Running Man, insert any other dystopian novel here, I still enjoyed the heck out of it – very compulsive reading and the story had some pretty awesome twists and turns. Meyer does indeed have literary pretensions and tries to inflict her morals on the audience, but you know what, Hunger Games at least tells an interesting story, as opposed to two dull characters very slowly getting it on with each other whilst some vague threat looms overhead that they defeat in the last ten or so pages.

    If anyone wants a dystopian young adult novel to rag on, look up Divergence by Veronica Roth. It’s… okay, but personally, I’m finding it a real slog to get through. Plus, it’s almost 500 pages and there’s a whole lot of rambling going on.

    Basically, in this world, there are 5 factions to choose from – Erudite (intelligence), Dauntless (fearlessness), Candour (honesty), Amity (kindness), and Abnegation (selflessness). If you don’t choose a faction, you end up ‘factionless’, and given the shittiest jobs in society. And our main character, Beatrice, leaves her Abnegation family behind to join Dauntless, who are basically hyped up adrenaline junkies who jump from moving trains for the fun of it and have really brutal initiation ceremonies. My problem with Beatrice in the book is that she’s such a plain character who occasionally ‘feels a buzz’ doing something dangerous, ‘ooh, look at me, I was raised to be selfless but now I’m climbing up a Ferris wheel in the dark because I’M DAUNTLESS’. Also, she was never sarcastic to begin with, but now she has a fucking witticism for every single situation. What the hell.

    Also, hell to the yeah, Glo. The Millenium series is fantastic, I read them all at the beginning of this year. Freaking cheered at pretty much anything Lisbeth did.

    • And as for books you should read… hm… what have I enjoyed this year… The Dresden Files is a pretty fun series, about a private eye wizard, any of the Jeeves and Wooster books by P.G. Wodehouse, uhh I don’t know if you’ve read The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but if you haven’t, chop chop what are you waiting for. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips is pretty hilarious, basically all the old gods living rather mundane lives in London, uhh, any Terry Pratchett books, any Neil Gaiman books, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel, one thousand or so pages but worth the read. Temeraire by Naomi Novik is also very good, I read that one on holiday this year… about an English navy captain who captures a dragon egg from a French ship during the Napoleonic wars and when the dragon hatches, it imprints on him, and he has to learn how to fly and do aerial combat as Napoleon mounts his invasion. All of these sound right up your street.

    • “Ehhh, so what if The Hunger Games has motifs from Battle Royale, the Running Man, insert any other dystopian novel here, I still enjoyed the heck out of it – very compulsive reading and the story had some pretty awesome twists and turns.”

      – EXACTLY. I don’t care if the author tore pages out of another book and pasted them into his/hers with glue, as long as I enjoy what I read, I’m happy.

      Currently finishing up The Girl Who Played With Fire….BRILLIANT so far! I wish Stieg Larsson was still alive apparently he had almost finished the 5th book in the series (he decided to write the 5th book before the 4th because he thought it would be more fun or something), and now I have no idea what’s happening. I guess he wanted to have 10 books in all, how awesome would that have been…

      • Wholeheartedly agree about the ‘OMG IT’S TAKEN THESE IDEAS SO IT MUST BE BAD’. Uh, no, it’s not going to be awful just because it has a few motifs from a few different books.

        I don’t understand where book snobbery comes from, to be honest. I was in a very low level English class for most of my high school because of my dyspraxia, and the people in there were almost fucking illiterate. They refused to read any books and even asked me how I got enjoyment out of reading. My teacher even stopped doing out-loud reading because they took so fucking long to pronounce any word longer than six letters. But you know what? So long as people like them are reading /something/, it doesn’t matter to me.

        Yup, it is indeed a huge shame that Stieg Larsson is no longer with us. Not sure whether to see the American remake of the Swedish films when they come out, but hey.

      • Taking motifs from another book and copying its ideas wholesale are two very different things. A motif would be the recurrence of olive branches as a symbol of peace. Copying an idea is when you read another work about a group of randomly selected kids being sent into an inescapable arena to fight to the death in order to keep everyone else in line and then write your own work about a group of randomly selected kids being sent into an inescapable arena to fight to the death in order to keep everyone else in line.

        Just to be clear, I’m not defending Battle Royale. That movie/comic was pretty shitty.

      • Is Hunger Games a rip off of Battle Royale? I have never read Battle Royale, though I read the summary, and now I’ve decided I really need to read the book, because it looks awesome, probably even better than Hunger Games. Does that mean I’ll hate Hunger Games now? Fuck no, it was still a sick book series.

  3. My favorite book of all time is Dune. The entire book is a great feat of imagination.

    Also, I still like the swedish movie. And Noomi Repace was fucking amazing. Lisbeth Salander is awesome.

    Also this is further proof why you should ALWAYS watch the movie before reading the book. For anything. Because 10 times out of 10 you end up saying “It was good. But not as good as the book because they left out this and that and this” and COMPLETELY ruins it for you, and for everyone who you go see the movie with that havent read the book.

    Example:

    Friend 1: OMG DUDE that movie was insane! I totally like that part when Harrison Ford jumped out of the airplane backwards and was shooting up at those guys!!

    Friend 2: Yea that was cool.. The movie was ok. But if left out all of these details. Like in the book you know what the character is thinking. And they left out that one line scene where they are in a room talking about nothing but there are some important details in there.

    Friend 2: (Thinking) Shut the h up. I didn’t read the book. I don’t care. (Speaking) Yeah. Well I still liked it.

    This happens 100% of the time because you simply can not find all the information from a novel into a movie. Its a scientific fact. There is never a movie that has EVERY line from a novel.

    HOWEVER, if you watch the movie first, you like the movie. Then read the novel and say:

    “WOW, I really loved the movie, but the Novel expands so much more on the story, and gives you such a better understand of what is happening. But you get soooo much more involved and the entire world etc etc (you get the point).”

    And now in this scenario you end up loving the movie AND loving the book. However, in scenario #1, you only love the book, and kind of like the movie.

    BOOM. Lawyered.

    • But uou can only prove that with an exception (i.e. The exception that proves the rule), making your point invalid on two fronts.

      • If it happens 100% of the time. its valid and correct. Exceptions just give false hope to people who are wrong and have nothing to cling on to.

    • “(Thinking) Shut the h up. I didn’t read the book. I don’t care. (Speaking) Yeah. Well I still liked it.”

      “Also, I still like the swedish movie.”

      – Don’t tell me to shut the h up!

      I feel like whatever I read/watch first, I will end up liking more, because I watched it/read it first. Plus, I like the fact that books make me anticipate movies, and I like seeing books come to life, but when has a movie ever inspired me to read a book? Answer: Never Conclusion: I’d rather read the book first, because overall it’s more enjoyable for me.

      I completely ripped off Lisbeth Salander with that last paragraph by the way, more proof that books are better, and thus deserving more respect/should be read first.

      • “I feel like whatever I read/watch first, I will end up liking more….”

        EXACTLY.

        Which is why you should watch the movie first. Because you will like it, THEN when you read the movie, you say holy shit that was awesome and really expanded on the movie” plus it won’t cause you to unlike the movie because you saw it first.

        BUT if you read the book, you can go watch the movie (which is good) and not like it because it doesnt contain as much as the book.

        also examples of books read because of movies:

        -Dune (best decision ever)
        -All LOTR books
        -Darkly Dreaming Dexter (technically a tv show)
        -Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
        -Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, The Red Dragon
        -Sin City (totally counts)
        -There are A LOT of comics I have read because of movies.

        and I have these books that I am going to read because of them:
        -Millennium series
        -A song of fire and ice (tv show)

        Honestly I’m more likely to pick up books if its a series. Like Dune, the Dexter books, and A song of Fire and Ice. But regardless. There are a lot. And I’m sure i’m missing some.

  4. Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook, the best series I have ever read. Jiam (Eric van Lustbader) is also pretty good, if old.
    The Percy Jackson Series is seven books long HOWEVER there is a second series by the same author which involve both Roman and Greek gods, but keeps the main charactes. A third unrelated series abot the egyptian gods is also out (same author)
    I own a small library of my own (non-literal) and pride my self on the fact that I have literally read all the books in one library once.
    I would have rated Catching Fire lower, but otherwise agree with the ratings.

    • Spoilers of The Hunger Games series involved here.

      Lovvvvved Catching Fire. The whole Quell games shit was pretty awesome to me. Call me a nut, but I liked the hopelessness that Katniss had throughout the book. She knew she was going to die, and planned on it. Of course, in the third book, she became a depressing sack of shit, but hey, she went through a lot, and the book succeeded in what I’m sure the author wanted, in that it made people think, okay, wars are dumb (as if we didn’t know this already though :/

      Still, the last book would have ended much better if you:

      A) Have Finnick NOT FUCKING DIE AFTER GETTING MARRIED.
      B) Have Prim NOT FUCKING DIE FOR NO REASON.

      Those to me were the two glaring errors.

  5. I’ve actually been really wanting to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lately (I’m looking for stuff to read). Good to see that it’s really great.

  6. “Taking motifs from another book and copying its ideas wholesale are two very different things. A motif would be the recurrence of olive branches as a symbol of peace. Copying an idea is when you read another work about a group of randomly selected kids being sent into an inescapable arena to fight to the death in order to keep everyone else in line and then write your own work about a group of randomly selected kids being sent into an inescapable arena to fight to the death in order to keep everyone else in line.

    Just to be clear, I’m not defending Battle Royale. That movie/comic was pretty shitty.”

    Fine, fine, sorry for misusing motif. It was early in the morning here.

    I know you can call it plagiarism or what have you, but the books aren’t that bad and I’d accuse them more of stealing a setting rather than fully ripping off. I’ve read the Battle Royale novel, and I’ve read The Running Man by Stephen King, another book THG is accused of ripping off. However, my argument is that… well, people clearly enjoy it. I read Battle Royale because I saw the film a year or so after it came out on DVD here, looked online and found the novel had been released here too. I’d put a little wager on the fact that it’s incredibly popular at the moment because people who aren’t into Japanese horror films or manga or Japanese novels had no clue of its existence, and thus reading THG was a nice change from the current status quo of YA – plain girl x ‘HAWT’ supernatural guy. Dystopian books are quickly taking over the YA Fiction shelves. Maybe because people are getting sick of the status quo I mentioned earlier.

    I’ll agree with you, THG is not the best series in the world, and there are girls in one of my classes whose incredible enthusiasm for it completely escapes me. It’s good enough to read and enjoy at least, but it doesn’t warrant gasping when they saw me reading it and asking me where I am and what I think of the characters thus far and then going ahead and spoiling it for me by talking really loudly about up and coming scenes.

    Tl;dr – I know about the Battle Royale and Running Man rip-off, and to me it’s more the setting being copied. Though… to be fair, there’s not a lot you can do with a dystopia that already has been done. Do you make it A) some kind of warped bloodthirsty totalitarian society or B) do you set it just after the apocalypse where everyone is still reeling from a shocking event? Pick wisely, Mr. or Ms. Writer.

    • Fair enough, but in all honesty I see no reason to change the status quo in YA fiction to begin with. YA exists purely to appeal to the emotional immaturity and under-developed sensibilities of teenagers and therefore must, by definition, make itself extremely simplistic and of an objectively poor quality. Anyone who wants to write an intelligent work or change the status quo should not be, indeed almost certainly is not, writing YA; they are writing mature, adult fiction. The only real merits of YA books are that they help to get children interested in reading and they line the authors’ pockets with cash.

      • Mm, but of course, people aren’t looking for world-changing books that have a profound effect on the reader. They are extremely, extremely rare nowadays, though it’d be nice if you could recommend me some. 🙂

        Of course, books that are written rather simplistically are intended to plug some hole in the market that still views books as being ‘complicated’. My grandma reads James Patterson and other schlocky crime novels voraciously, because they don’t use ‘big’ words. I assume the same is for the kids in my old English classes only reading ghost-written books that had a celebrity’s name tacked onto it.

        And as I said before, so long as kids read something and put their imagination to work, rather than going on the computer, games console, or watching TV all day, I couldn’t care whether or not they read bastardised versions of dystopian literature, bastardised versions of Greek myths, or bastardised supernatural fantasy romance novels. I’m no luddite, I just love books and don’t want to see them go.

      • “I just love books and don’t want to see them go.”

        That, at least, is something on which we can both agree.

  7. since my move, I am able to slowly pick up on my reading habits again, or at least I have time between commute/starting class to do so. Reading is awesome. Writing is much more awesome. I love doing both but sucks that time is a bitch lately.

    Glad that you’re ok from the storm and managed to do something worthwhile in between. Sometimes it just takes a storm or two to remind us the simple enjoyable things in life.

  8. Hey, Glo, quick question – do you have a GoodReads account? It’s an awesome community for people who read. I’ve nearly finished my 75 books in a year challenge thanks to encouragement and constant recommendations.

  9. Pingback: I Just Came (MYSTERIOUSLY) « Eye Sedso

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