The Post In The Woods

April 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

This week has been busy (as they all are), and yet the grown man is able to find time for that which is important in life.

Week 16: The World More Full of Weeping, Robert Wiersema

Although this is technically a novella, it is bound in its own binding thus making it a book, thus fulfilling the requirements to read a book a week. In other words, all you haters can suck it. I like reading novellas (it’s about 100 pages or so), but only sporadically. I usually only like stories that I can really sink my teeth into and 100 pages is simply not enough space to get meaty, but the best novellas and short stories can still manage.

A personal favourite of mine is The Nine Billion Names of God, by Arthur C. Clarke. It’s simply perfection in written form: the story is tight and contained, it has an interesting premise, it explains everything it needs to while still leaving the reader hanging at the end, and the last line is one of the best in English literature:

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.

That is my face every time I read that story.

One of the difficulties, however, in writing these really short stories is that it’s so damn hard. Like poetry, every line has to be perfect capsules of meaning that propel the story exactly as you intend it towards the end.

As a novel writing, I can say (and say verily) screw that noise. I’m going to write and write and write and let my editor worry about that while I smoke cubanos in Hawaii. Except that that is, and despite my objections and Hawaiian shirts, the point of all writing: choose the exact words you want to build the sentence you want to build the paragraph you want to build the story you want. I enjoy reading good novellas and short stories because they really are works of art in a way that novels can’t quite be. They’re both good, mind you, but they’re just so different it’s hard to remember that sometimes.

Speaking of things that are good…

Man...just, I don't know

I saw this movie last Thursday and I have no idea what to say about it. It was good, it was bad; it felt like it was trying to be three movies but only succeeded at being two(which is still better than one); I was entertained and I was disappointed.

Rarely have I felt this way about a movie of any kind and it leaves me completely perplexed. There’s no way to discuss it without spoilers, but I’ll say that Joss Whedon confuses me. Firefly is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen (sorry old folks, I was a little too young and only caught some of Buffy) and I can appreciate Whedon’s style. At the same time, the Whedon-isms that showed up in Cabin really annoyed me. Some were out of place and some were…gasp…not that funny.

Oh no, please go back to reading that book and not plotting my imminent demise. Please?

Yes, I said “funny” in regards to a horror movie (one scene has literally buckets of blood). In the end, I can say that yes, it was enjoyable, but as enjoyable as it was frustrating. I feel sometimes that I care too much about the media that I watch/read/take in, and sometimes that bites me in the ass. Cabin is a perfect example of that. A lot of the plot hinges on some obvious (to the point of glaring) plot holes that worked fine if I would have just turned my brain off.

Unfortunately for movie makers everywhere, my brain doesn’t have an “off” switch. I constantly expect more from my media (which is going to be wonderful when I start making media). Case in point and mild spoiler alert: the protagonists save themselves by using a giant red button that creates a distraction for them.

Giant. Red. Button.

It works for Megas XLR; not so sure about Cabin in the Woods

Finally, there’s one subplot that is essentially Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem and that just made my day. Here’s one for you Hollywood: once you’re done ripping off every book that sells more than a 100 copies for your ideas, rip off some good video games.

This makes me want to write a Roman zombie story

Next week: I might try and finish that Russian history book I’ve been working on, and I might read some YA horror. I do like me my horror, so we will see.

Also, I have a new writing contest to enter: the Writer’s Digest competition. While I finish my manuscript, I figure the best way to keep busy is to enter contest after contest after contest. Or just write more and work harder, but that’s so lame. And lacks fabulous prizes, unless you count “lived experience” or “valuable life goals” as prizes, which this guy? This guy doesn’t.

John is outta here

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