Please stop having characters who are blue collar Americans in canon use British English words and phrases.
Please stop having characters who are blue collar Americans in canon use British English words and phrases.
~ Fandom, why are you making me read George R.R. Martin? I had managed to *not* pick up the behemoth books he writes. But no, tumbleblogs and fic writers I follow are writing AUs and crossovers, so I must read Game of Thrones and understand the north wall and the appeal of Jon Snow.
~ WTAF, Hawaii 50 writers? That season finale was a hot mess. Steve arrested and broken hearted? Danno maybe going back to New Jersey with his pregnant ex? Kono arrested and Chin off being disloyal, which is totally contrary to his Hufflepuffish character? The only thing that might explain this is an opening sequence next season a la Dallas in which it turns out that the entire episode was just a dream or nightmare induced by too many malasadas and Longboards.
~ Another romance blogger has posted a review of an urban fantasy novel that confuses me. It’s urban fantasy: the relationship is not the focus, and complaining about the protagonist getting her HFN midway through the series arc implies (to me) a lack of understanding of genre differences. The series arc isn’t about the relationship, it’s about the larger conflict. Asking what more can happen between them and lamenting the lack of tension now that the question of their relationship has been resolved makes me wonder what genre the reader/reviewer thought the book/series was.
~ It’s months off, but I’m torturing myself, trying to decide if I want to go stay in Barcelona for a week, or if I want to rent a car and drive around the south, maybe stay in Granada and do day trips or just do a big, looping, coastal tour. As much as I want to go north and do the camino de Santiago, that’s a spring/summer trip, not a middle of winter trip.
Happy Monday! I’m happy because I’m off today…which sort of makes up for the fact that I spent ten hours at the office yesterday. But not really, since even on my day off I had to call in for a conference call. (What’s the point of a 9/80 work schedule when I end up working 10/95?)
Anyway, it’s time for SBD!
I’m reading Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss, a YA book about a girl who is sent to boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. In the fall, this book got lots and lots of review blog attention, but I didn’t pick up a copy until January (courtesy of — thank you!). And after that, it sat in the TBR for a bit.
In many ways, there’s nothing new or different about this YA book. There’s an uncertain heroine who has been essentially abandoned by her family (although being left at a spendy boarding school in Paris isn’t exactly a hardship, or as bad as being forced to live in the cupboard under the stairs and work as a house-elf); a potential love interest; learning about her new environment; building a new circle of friends while not completely losing the old; etc. But Perkins is doing a pretty good job of reeling me in as a reader. Even though I’m guessing that Anna Banana Elephant Oliphant will end up having a good year, I still want to follow along as it happens.
This description of Anna’s father is such a clear dig at several authors who shall not be named, that it just tickles me. Because I hate that they are considered mainstream "romance" instead of the utter schmoop that they are. (There’s nothing wrong with schmoop, but if you’re going to make a living at it, own it, don’t pretend it’s high art.)
And it totally depresses me, but the ladies eat it up. They love my father’s books and they love his cable-knit sweaters and they love his bleachy smile and orangey tan. And they have turned him into a bestseller and a total dick.
Also, I was fascinated by his clear decision about what he wanted to write. There are genre romance authors who have made the same analysis, and who chose to write romance not necessarily because they think it’s high art or even their preferred reading material but because it is an area in which aspiring authors can actually make a living, compared to other (more respected, socially accepted, pretentious) genres.
At the store today, in the book/magazine aisle, I noticed that there’s a graphic novel version of Twilight. Really? Was that necessary? And sitting right next to that was The Harvard Lampoon’s parody, Nightlight. I was almost tempted by the parody. But not quite.
Um, other than that, not much on the reading front. Except I’ve got two paper boxes of books to donate to the library. Anybody want some of them? Most of them are books I read and enjoyed but am never going to re-read; some had been keepers but have fallen off the list; others I’m not sure how I acquired them at all because the blurbs are not at all appealing. But if you’re looking for some free books (and you are someone who has commented here before, please), drop me a line and I’ll either send a list for you to choose from or do a random selection, your choice. The books range from m/m to urban fantasy to category to historical to suspense.
On the fandom front, I have to say that it drives me crazy to read blue-collar American characters using British slang in their every day language. The canon is clear — Generation Kill could not be more working class and middle class American if it tried. And still the characters sometimes use mobiles, or wear jumpers, or live in flats in fan fiction. No. Okay? Just no. A middle class Catholic boy from Baltimore would put on his sneakers or tennis shoes, not trainers; a dirt poor kid from Missouri would use a wrench, not a spanner. That would be like having Dr Who talk about putting stuff in the trunk rather than the boot: not quite right and enough to drive a British reader crazy.
The US won its Davis Cup tie, and Spain won its tie. Meaning they’ll meet in the US for the quarter finals in July. Potential sites under consideration by the USTA (?) are in Albany, San Antonia, and Austin. I have family in Austin and San Antonio, and I’ve heard good things about Albany. Road trip?
Okay, back to reading about Anna’s year abroad.
Registration for #RWA11 opened today, and it seemed like everyone on my Twitter feed was registering and booking their hotel room or debating registering. I felt all D: because I’m not going. I don’t actually care about the conference, per se: I’m not a writer or an aspiring writer so a lot of the workshops aren’t relevant to me except in an academic sort of way; I don’t need the free books — given the size of my TBR, more free books would be ridiculous. But. But the people! So many people I "know" via Twitter or other online venues are going to be there! And I’m going to miss the opportunity to meet them!
Poking around, checking for new releases to buy or pre-order, I have not found much of interest. SEP has a new book out today that appears to be well-liked by the rom-reading community, but I stopped reading her several books ago, and even if I were inclined to give her a second or third chance, the price of the ebook is ridiculous. February doesn’t seem to have many great offerings either: the exceptions are the new In Death book and Carla Kelly’s inspirational (which I’m kind of ambivalent about). Jaci Burton’s Play by Play will be out in early February, too, and it is one book that has been completely sold by the cover art. Call me shallow.
My reading slump seems to have accelerated. It’s the 18th of the month and I’ve only read three books. Three! The only thing that is remotely like a silver lining is that since I’ve read so little, it’s been relatively easy to post about each book.
Erin Brockovich (of movie and class action fame) is now writing fiction? Legal(ish) suspense? Uh, okay. The curiosity factor might make me pick it up at the bookstore, but the hardback format would have me either skimming it in the store or waiting for a used copy from Paperbackswap.
The Biochemist broke my brain. Or caused me to break my brain, depending on how you look at it. We were exchanging emails about a potential fic for me to write when the conversation veered into the NYC pop/punk music scene of the late 90s. Ray Person + Gabriel Saporta = brain exploding. Just the thought of the pair of them with their pimp shades…I can’t even.
Dear Melissa Etheridge, I’d love to see you as St. Jimmy on Broadway during your one week run in February, but I don’t think it’ll happen due to scheduling issues. This makes me very, very sad, because I think you’ll rock the dissolute, seductive, threatening St. J. in a way that’s completely different from Tony Vincent and Billie Joe Armstrong’s presentations of the character.
GK + Bujold’s Vorkosiverse, yes/no?
I’m thinking that Babbling, Mad Miles could possibly be out-talked by one Joshua Ray Person. And Brad would fit right in on military mad Barrayar. LT as Gregor, the somewhat unwilling emperor, Gunny Wynn as Illyan or maybe Armsman Pym? Rudy and his philosophical nature would mesh well with the Countess, too.
At first, I thought Ivan the Idiot = Encino Man equivalent, but that’s only a surface thing. Ivan’s idiocy is carefully cultivated in order to keep himself from being a political target, while Encino Man is just incompetent.
And the rest of the cast and crew as various members of either the Council of Counts or the Dendarii Mercenary Fleet.
Now I just need someone in fandom to write it for me 🙂
~ Amazon sent me a list of the Top 10 Romances of 2010, presumably based on my buying history. Of the ten books on the list, I’ve read (or tried to read) one, Kresley Cole’s Pleasure of a Dark Prince, which was…not a keeper, let’s just put it that way. The others look heavy on the European historical or just looked pedestrian to me.
~ Pumpkin walnut bread is baking. I need flour, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and chocolate chips to make cookies and candy. Also need to find the recipe for potato chip cookies so I can test them out.
~ Started telling The Biochemist my Brad/Ray plot bunny by email, and she wants the next installment now, so I guess I’ll have to get cracking on that. The eggnog cookie I plotted out for a comment!fic prompt still hasn’t made it onto paper or Word, and it’ll probably need a beta or at least a proof read by someone to tell me to stop attempting to write Brad/Ray before I post it publicly. Anonymously, I think.
Dear fan fiction author:
There is no "driving down to Baltimore" from Washington, DC. Baltimore is NORTH EAST of Washington. And elevation-wise, there’s no difference, so no "down" in that sense either.
Please look at a map. Except, wait, you obviously did for other bits of your fic, which makes this blunder (used twice) even more peculiar.
Dear other FF author:
Having a character be shocked and complain about an attempted robbery "within a five mile radius of the White House" — dude, seriously, do you know how big a five mile radius is? No crime in that area? Good luck. Having an otherwise security-conscious character say that is just naive bordering on ridiculous.