Sunday, March 27, 2011

Touching Base and Giving Reviews

It's been a while since I last posted and I just wanted to touch base. As per usual I've been horrible when it comes to writing. After I posted my last chapter and blog post I had every intention of continuing writing that day. However, I was actually interested in getting the skeletal timeline down for the script I'm starting April first for Script Frenzy. That way I can just sit and write because I knew where I was gonna go with it. However, work got in the way. And then my co-manager got sick and so I had to pick up more hours which got in the way. And I was only doing openings and so I was exhausted and wanted to sleep, which got in the way. And then my sister was never around to take care of her dog and so I was the one that played with the needy mutt - which, you guessed it, got in the way. And so I STILL don't have much of an outline done and I'm probably not going to when April comes around. So I'll probably spend the first week or so of Script Frenzy just piecing everything together and then knock out the 100-page script over a weekend or something.

Further distractions took form a day or so after I posted my last chapter. I did something I rarely did - I drank coffee because I was DRAAAAAAAGGING at work. I don't know if it was the fact that I only drank coffee maybe twice before in my life and my body wasn't use to it, or if it was the brand of coffee Subway sells: Seattle's Best, or if it was my listening to a co-worker when he told me that adding a package of hot chocolate mix to the coffee helped make it less bitter, but somehow, for whatever reason, that coffee made me so sick that I actually left work early for the first time. After an hour or so nap I felt a little better, but kept myself bedridden. I wasn't feeling well enough to write, but I was also getting bored and didn't really feel like playing video games. That was when I saw it, one of two books my fiance lent me nearly a month prior and was constantly begging me to read. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

We had seen the Disney movie "based" on the book and he ended up falling in love with the series - even declaring that the author Rick Riordan officially dethrowned his previously favorite author: Orson Scott Card - which also dethrowned "Ender's Game" as my fiance's favorite story and series.

I had been dragging my feet for the same reason I dragged my feet about Harry Potter - the book series was written for children half my age. I'm not sure why this was an issue for me since I've been OBSESSING over "Hey, Arnold!" for the past year and a half - and that series not only ended nearly a decade ago, but was for ten-year-olds. I still play with toys on occasion and watch movies that are aimed at children, so why am I embarrassed to read childrens' books? Not sure, but it was an issue.

Anyway, there I was, sick, in bed, bored, and staring at this novel my fiance has been begging me to read, and so I did. I was instantly drawn in to Riordan's writing, mostly because it so closely resembled my own writing style. If I write similarly, obviously I would enjoy how it was written. Plus, it gave me hope that my writing style could be publishable some day - even if it were for middle-schoolers. Another bonus for Riordan was my love of Greek Mythology. Finally, the story itself was actually really funny, even to the point of me reading passages that I enjoyed out loud to my fiance so he knew what I was laughing at while we were on the phone. I greatly enjoyed the story and even acknowledged my fiance's "I told you so"s.

Well, now I really was in trouble, what little precious time I had at home was spent reading this novel instead of writing my own. Sure, I thought about my own story a little while at work all of those hours alone, but nothing was committed to paper. Also, since I didn't really remember the Greek mythology too well it kept me at least twice as long to read "The Lightning Thief" because I was going through my "reference book" at the same time. Let me explain, sure, Riordan was good at having different mythology references explained. He understood that the average thirteen-year-old wouldn't know who Medusa was. However, a few years ago my fiance - who is a HUGE Greek Mythology buff by the way - told me about this book he had as a textbook in one of his classes: Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton. I have always enjoyed just reading the myths in this book, but now I was using it to get the "full scoop" on the references Riordan used in his story. For example, one of Athena's children starts freaking out around spiders and references Arachne. Riordan has it simply explained that Athena turned Arachne into a spider and that Arachne's children - all of Earth's spiders - always had a grudge against the children of Athena. Reading my "reference book" further explained that Athena was the goddess of crafts and invented the loom, and so when Arachne claimed she could weave as well as - if not better than - Athena, and then proved it in a contest against the goddess, Athena raged against the girl, causing Arachne to become so distressed that she committed suicide by hanging. Athena felt guilty and turned Arachne into a spider so all could appreciate her weaving prowess.

Anyway, my point is that for every single reference Riordan makes in his book, I then spend about twenty minutes reading the myth corresponding to said reference. I've read at least half of the myths by now. Worse yet was that my fiance had also given me the sequel "The Sea of Monsters" to read. He wanted me to bring home the whole series, but I stopped him at two - not thinking I'd even read them. Well, I was able to hold off on the second story for almost a week, again working on the movie script skeleton, but I was really in a reading kick now - especially since I'm actually tag teaming the "Mythology" book and the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series - and I could not be stopped.

Also, my fiance's best friend hosts LARP games, and when I'm visiting for Good Friday through Easter, they will be hosting their Changeling game. Since I'm visiting, I'll be participating even though I've never played this game before and know nothing of the rules or characters. So now I'm reading "The Sea of Monsters", the "Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes", as well as the wiki-pages for "Changeling: The Dreaming" - which then leads me to read my book "Irish Fairy & Folk Tales" by W. B. Yeats since the majority of the characters in the Changeling game are based on Irish faerie myths. Yup, reading four things all at the same time, plus spring cleaning, plus wedding shopping now that it's nice enough to go outside again, plus all of the stuff I told you about at the beginning of this post, and so I don't really have extra time to write - another reason I haven't posted in almost a month.

Aside from being busy, I've been uninspired to write the next chapter for one very important reason: I'm not sure how to portray Brainy. He was never really developed in the series and so I more-or-less have to build him a personality for my story. I'm afraid of two things: 1) I'll make him in to a "Marty Stu" and/or 2) people will root for him over Arnold - whom I think I'm already alienating from my audience with my last chapter. Honestly, even I'm not sure how Arnold could possibly win Helga back one last time, and so more feet dragging.

Anyway, my laundry has been done for about an hour now and so I should really get back to that. Sorry to everyone eagerly awaiting my next chapter. I strongly suggest reading any of Rick Riordan's novels. ^_^

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