More than just Volocio out here…

Random Rants

On a Shameless Plug…..

So while reading and writing consume my life, I just want to take a few moments, as well as a few words, to put in a shameless plug for a friend’s podcast.  Why not? We creative types need to stick together and help promote each other’s works!

I will admit that the most shameless part is that I take part a few episodes.  But what is the podcast you ask? It’s called Van Damme That’s Good.  I have also attached the official website which includes my friend’s fantastic posters for each episode.

But what are these episodes for?  Well, are you familiar with Mystery Science Theater 3000 or MST3K? If are not, either click the link to a short YouTube video or just know that essentially has a man, a robot, and an alien who sit in a theatre watching terrible movies and make fun of them.  I use to do this sort game in college.  We called it Bad Movie Night.  Netflix has a goldmine of these kinds of movies.  I highly recommend if you do this sort of thing with a group of friends because doing it alone is just kind of sad.  However, if you really must try this and find yourself alone…well, that’s what this podcast is for.  Each episode consists of our hosts: Zach and Chris as well as a third guest host who picks a well loved but terrible movie for them to make fun of.  The episode I am in is for the movie Legend.  I just finished another episode this last Monday for Ninja III: The Domination

How the podcast works is simple, simply start the podcost and listen for the introductions as well as an anecdote about why this movie was chosen.  Then start the movie as the hosts do (you’ll hear the movie) and just listen to the hilarity.  It’s fun, I promise.

Did I also mention that these episodes are free?

Give it a shot when you have a chance.  I enjoy partaking in Bad Movie because it involves being witty on your feet.  It’s not writing, but it is a creative outlet.

To all you writers out there… you have other creative outlets besides writing that help fulfill your creative needs?

On Writers not Being Your Bitch…

I found myself reminded of an article the author Neil Gaiman wrote.  I said in a previous post that I love George R. R. Martin’s work but I will have to wait years before the next book comes out.  I know a lot of people are griping about how GRRM livejournal is filled mostly with posts about the New York Giants and not about the upcoming The Winds of Winter.  I would write more but frankly Gaiman is more eloquent and more than covers it:

George R. R. Martin is Not Your Bitch



On Book Snobbery…

One of the most important things to do as a writer is to read.  Stephen King once put that “if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to write.”

Too friggin’ true.

Writers emulate authors they like…how? By reading them.  All of them.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

I want to write about the ugly.  The guilty pleasure for lack of a better word.  The stuff we don’t tell our fellow reader friends about…hell, we don’t even tell our non reader friends about.  The fluff piece.  The Twinkie.  The books that contain little to be deemed classics by the snobbiest of book readers but damnit they are entertaining!!!

I was originally going to write a piece solely on such a book (series).  The kind that make my intellectual friends roll their eyes if they knew I not only read them but reread parts.   I will get to which series I am referring to but I wanted to discuss why I felt the need to defend this series.

Reading has become dying past time.  I believe so  I have too many friends that don’t read for pleasure and that makes me sad.  Those that do read I hear the same complaint from them concerning our guilty pleasures.:

“Who would read this drivel?”  followed by an over exaggerated rolling of the eyes.  I honestly think we as readers are starting to get a bit too snobbish with our literature.

Now before you get all huffy and retort, let me make a comparison.  Today we easily forgive movies and TV shows as being both high brow and low.  There is nothing “intellectual” about The Hangover movies but they had me splitting my sides with laughter.  What about The Notebook?  Sure it’s considered a chick flick but it speaks truths!

I digress.

I think readers are quicker to condemn books for not being smart enough when sometimes you want to merely be entertained.  They get angry at the fact that the masses are reading such novels ignoring the more important fact that people are reading! Period.

My cases in point?

Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Now I have already written a plenty (14 pages worth) about Edward and Bella in one of my older blogs…found here but what I actually find myself wanting to do is defend Ana and Christian.  I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at me but why? Have you read the books? Chances are no, if you have such a disdainful opinion.  It’s a series people seem to love or hate….I do find myself somewhere in the grey (you see what I did there?)  Often I have friends who would condemn me for reading Fifty Shades all the while they are watching the newest episode of Jersey Shore.  I will admit I have read all the books of the aptly dubbed “soccer mom porn” and I didn’t completely hate it.  I had my problems with it: my own cynicism towards the plot as well as difficulty with the writer’s style.  But guess what? I dislike Tolkien’s writing style and yet I still hold him in reverence.

I know people complain that it’s just an unrealistic woman’s fantasy because they are nothing more than bored housewives.   However, the idea of women obsessing over stories of dangerous men who meet you and fall desperately in love with you, protect you, have crazy sex with you was not the invention of neither Stephanie Meyer nor E. L. James.  We can actually go as far back as medieval times when women fantasized about handsome knights (dangerous men) who fall for the ladies.  The kind of knight who is chivalrous and honorable who will pick a lady from the crowd to win her favor.

The reason why I bring this up because I am a huge HUGE huge fan of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.  The character Sansa Stark at the beginning is often teased for loving stories involving handsome and courageous (and awesome) knights yet her reality was filled with such the likes as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and his brother Gregor “The Mountain that Rides” Clegane both violent and with a queer sense of “honor.”  The only two who could come close in the handsome department are Jamie “The Kingslayer” Lannister who shoved her little brother out of a window for catching him porking his sister and Loras Tyrell “Knight of the Flowers” who was more flaming than the Great Chicago Fire.   And the only true knight of honor is the old Barristan Selmy or Barristan the Bold…or as I like to call him Barristan the Badass.

Anyway, my point in this little rant is that the written word should not always have to be profound…nor do you have to be sober to write so.  Stephen King was on coke when he wrote Cujo.  My point is just to enjoy reading and writing regardless of the tale.

The point is telling a story.  Tell that story.  Read that story.  Enjoy it, damnit!