Saturday, December 11, 2010

Transformers 3 Dark of the Moon Teaser Trailer

Look, strange robots lying in ships distributing technology is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical astronomic ceremony! Look, you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some stasis-locked machine threw a Cube at you. I mean, if I went around saying I was an emperor, 'cause some spacey droid lobbed an All-Spark at me, they'd put me away!

Okay I'll stop now.

The Purpose of Fantasy

I had two book reviews written. I really did. I had them all ready, and then I lost the second jumpdrive I had after finding the first. Maybe they'll switch places soon so I can get my book reviews back. Or I may just have to rewrite them.

So I went back, found an old blog from a month or two ago, and decided I would post it. It is appropriate considering what I read yesterday at work. Yes, I read at work. I get distracted when I'm shelving. It happens.

Some author wrote a book explaining how C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were fine but J.K. Rowling clearly had evil plans in mind. It was a bit silly, though not quite as silly as Laura Mallory's website. The man was countering arguments in favor of Harry Potter, and doing a halfway decent job of it. The problem was that, though he claimed to have read the books himself, he only used those passages that proved his point, a huge no-no I recall from my college English class. He presented his opponents' viewpoints in the most simplistic and asinine way possible, then went into great detail of his own, giving appropriate examples from the books, while totally ignoring those parts that completely counter his own arguments. It was almost cute.

But at least he didn't do like that demon-busters website and complain about fantasy in general, and that, after a short preview rant, leads into my little ramble.

Because, writing fantasy must be part of my personality.

I have begun to realize that even my stories that were originally planned to be somewhat realistic have evolved into something closer to the fantasy genre. For example, I had a story planned in which a group of children were the subjects of mental experiments. However, it has started changing from them having simple neuroses due to the experiments to something more…and of course, much less realistic. Looking back, everything I have written has had something of the fantastical in it. I can’t be content with something-I know people dislike this term-mundane. Sometimes I wonder, is this a problem? Am I perhaps too lost in “my own little world” for my own good? Shouldn’t I be able to write something real life decently?

I confess there were many times I longed to truly get lost in my own imagination. Bullying was a very real thing for me and, strange as it seems, it felt easier to deal with the supernatural villains concocted in my head than the children I looked in the face every day at school. Perhaps because in a way I had control over those villains, and control over myself. I was brave, I was strong. I wasn’t shy and quiet; I wasn’t the one who longed for people to simply leave me alone. I wasn’t the “sidekick” or, more likely, the “red shirt”. I was the heroine and I could win.

I’m aware too much distaste for reality could be bad. As much as I see what is wrong with this world, I see many things that are right. I wouldn’t trade my friends and family for any adventures in the world. (No, not even David Bowie can change my mind, thank you very much.) I’m fully aware life is pretty decent. But perhaps, like everyone else, I long for the fantastical, for something far beyond myself. There are those that would argue, “Erica, you are a Christian. Isn’t this good enough?” Not in this fallen world, I suppose. It is more than just a desire for something beyond. I want to create. Now, seeing as I am not God, there’s no chance of anything I write really coming to life (though Inkheart was a pretty fun book), but it’s not necessary. I believe Tolkien himself felt that his writing was a way of imitating his Creator, though his world is but dim compared to what God made.

I’ve begun noticing something like a trend. There is always some genre that is looked down upon by the intellectual elite. In the 1800’s, novels were the scapegoat of the day. They filled young ladies’ minds with unladylike notions; they did not edify minds as did the biographies and literature collections of the day; they were unrealistic. How could something so unlike day-to-day life help anyone at all? And yet, as one of my favorite authors says, “….or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world …” (Jane Austen, for the unenlightened ones out there). Fantasy may be, well, fantastical, but it still contains much of human nature (even if the characters aren’t particularly human) and psychology. Perhaps it is as I said before-sometimes it is easier to face imaginary monsters than real ones. It is much easier to read about the defeat of a Sauron than face the back-stabbing she-devil at work. And maybe it’s good that way.

After all, if you can face a Dark Lord, you can snark at the she-devil.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jane Austen's Fight Club

Or, That Time That Fanny Shoved Mrs. Norris' Face Into Red Velvet Cake

Amongst other nonsenses. Lizzy makes an excellent Tyler Durden. :-)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Writing Prompt: It was half past midnight when the paper clips revolted

A story that is not Lord of the Fandoms.

But still very nonsensical.

The tinny clattering went unnoticed in the office building. The cameras were more concerned with larger intruders, after all, and ignored the typical small noises all buildings make when settling down for the night. But the clattering ought to have been noticed, all the same.

It was half past midnight when the paper clips revolted.

Oh, don't worry. They had good reason. Many had been lost on the floor, only to be devoured by the ravenous vacuum later on. Humans were notorious for dropping things, after all. And let's not even mention the cruel mutilation enacted by that same species. Paper clips seemed to be just the right width for reaching things that had fallen into narrow spaces.

So it was, while the cameras kept a weather eye out for intruders, thieves, and the occasional drunken janitor, the paper clips skittered across the desk, prepared for revenge.

The first things that went were, of course, the computers. They found themselves viciously stung in several places along the wires. The paper clips were veritable kamikazes, as one after another went up in sparks for the cause. Once the computers' gentle humming was silenced, the next victims were the copiers. Those crabby, stubborn copiers. They were always jamming paper and spurting ink for their own wicked delight. Their wires too were quickly dispatched.

By this time the cameras were rolling their eyes round, trying to find the culprits of these heinous crimes. However, the cameras, designed to find rather taller perps, continued to look round in vain, as the paper clips began mustering their strength to turn over wastebaskets.

Not a few of their comrades were found, lingering there with the old styrofoam cups, candy wrappers, and paper balled in frustration. Many of them were rather sticky with dried coffee, and some were just too far gone to save.

The paper clips next headed for the filing cabinets. This took rather more effort; but ripping out the fiber from the office chairs gave them good ropes for opening the cabinets, and spilling their contents on the floor.

The cameras continued to search, now exceedingly alarmed by these invisible intruders.

The filing cabinets dumped, the paper clips now were prepared for the coup d'etat. They picked the lock of The Boss, the large man that all the humans seemed to fear. There they planned on shoving his very desk out the window and onto the street below. The fiber ropes were secured, the window opened...

A light came on.


The swear echoed through the office. In an instant the paper clips fell to the ground, motionless.

Heavy footsteps shook the ground, the smell of cigar smoke filled the air, and more swearing followed. The phone was jerked off the cradle, and the man jabbed viciously at the numbers. The phone let out a squeak of protest, which was duly ignored.

"Jim! Check the cameras, someone's wrecked the whole place! What? I don't care if you didn't see anyone, someone's been here! Now get to it before I kick you to the street so fast your pants'll fly off!" The phone was slammed back into the cradle. It whimpered again.

The footsteps receded back into the office, where things were being kicked.

"Want to join the revolution?" a paper clip asked.

The phone let out a happy chirp in reply.

"Now what?" The footsteps returned, and all went silent once more as the phone was once again abused. There was always tonight...