Tag Archives: books

Trailer Breakdown for An Unfortunate Teaser

5 Jul

Before I begin, I have to make two things clear.

1) Today, when I say “I’m crying,” I don’t mean in an angsty way.

2) Today, when I say “I’m crying,” I am not joking. I am 100%, hand over my heart, experiencing Mr. misty eyes syndrome and my nose is stuffed up and my voice is cracking.

I’m crying.

And it’s all because of this glittering pile of book-adapted treasure that has come to ruin my life and make sure I can’t focus on a single thing for the duration of the new week.

The day has come.

Click here to watch the official teaser for the TV series adaption of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and then stroll on back for some well-placed shrieks of anguish.

And in case you are tempted to say I didn’t warn you, remember, the illusive Lemony Snicket tried to stop you from the very Bad Beginning.

“In this [show], not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.”

*melancholy music begins*
soue_1

Straight ahead, you’ll see an LP for the one and only Lemony Snicket tribute band. Behind you, you’ll see me, weeping with anguish and unable to speak.
soue_2

“Wow,” you breathe. “What a gorgeous set.” You find I am unable to reply, having begun to tear my hair.
soue_3

“Geez,” you comment. “That’s a little terrifying.” You stop talking when you realize I excused myself a few minutes ago to scream into a pillow in the room next door.
soue_4

Fun fact: While I was taking these screencaps in my room with the lights off, I was feverishly whispering under my breath “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
soue_5

Okay, that wasn’t a fun fact. But you know what is? That this is definitely a scene from the Reptile Room (Book the Second).
soue_6

And that those two tickets in the top left corner are to a Marvelous Marriage (Book the First).
soue_7

That the Mushroom Minutiae isn’t going to be incorporated until Book the Eleventh and that therefore I have no logical reason not to expect that the entire series is going to be coming to dark, miserable life.soue_8

Oh, and we can’t forget the Lucky Smells Lumbermill (Book the Fourth), the backdrop to my favorite recurring nightmares. Can’t wait to relive that horror show. soue_9

It’s hard to put into words just how I feel about the VFD eye on the top book getting represented on screen just the way it was illustrated in the original canon, but try to imagine waking up and finding that literally the only thing you wanted from TV for a good six years of your life is happening for real in YOUR REAL LIFE LIKE  W O W  CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING FOR REAL
soue_10

Give me three forlorn orphans making the most out of the worst conditions imaginable (more specifically, making puttanesca out of the worst conditions imaginable).
soue_11

Give me inventing and reading and biting.soue_12

Give me Lachrymose Leeches and Incredibly Deadly Vipers and give mesoue_13 soue_14

“… Count Olaf. It was the bad guy.”

Lemony Snicket
soue_15

soue_16

Do my hands normally shake like this?

soue_17Netflix has always been good to us, but today? Today it has given us a Vastly Fantastic Donative, (a word which here means “gift”) and we should all spend a moment in silence in respect to the man who sacrificed his own relative happiness and well-being to bring us the sad tale of the Baudelaire orphans.

It would only be appropriate to close with his words –

“Waiting is one of life’s hardships.”

________

Someone, please. Hold me.

______________________

EDIT: It has come to my attention that this trailer has been largely dismissed as fan-made. I can respect that (actually it’s way more impressive if it is fan-made), however, I would like to kindly remind you, while staying open to any and all outcomes, that the man who said this was a hoax was also the man that wrote “Please don’t read this” on the back of every book of a series that sold over 60 million copies world-wide.

I’m pretty interested to see how this pans out.

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After the Credits

31 May

“Wait,” I whispered. “What?”

The secret scene after a Marvel movie. Familiar enough. I take you, then, to the theater I recently shared with a few dozen others watching X-Men: Days of Future Past (perfect, highly recommend). And more specifically, I take you to the end-credits scene, and to the comic book-born figure who was finally getting his close-up on the big screen. However, for the moment, his presence was lost on us. So I bring you to another familiar thought related to Marvel end-credits scenes: Who is this guy?

I had a wavering suspicion, but I wasn’t confident enough to say it out loud.

“Who is that?” my sister leaned over and asked.

“He seems too skinny,” I whispered feverishly to myself before panicking with a louder-than-preferred, “I don’t know!” 

“We’ll google it,” she resolved, quiet purpose in her voice.

I inwardly groaned and chastised myself for my ignorance. But my small whine of failure was nothing compared to the woman at the back of the theater.

“AUGH!” she screamed. And I do mean screamed. “WHY DON’T I KNOW HIS NAME! WHY DON’T I KNOW HIS NAME!”

The struggle is real.

By the way, though I can hardly take credit for it since I lacked the moral strength to own my conviction, my original suspicion of the character’s identity was correct thanks goodbye

This is one of the reasons I adore Marvel movies so much. The right kind of people go to see them. The ratio of people who are desperate to see these movies to people who come along begrudgingly is far weightier on the side of the first, and certainly far better than many other movies I see in the theaters. You can hear the passion in the crowd – everyone either loves the Marvel cinematic universe, the comics universe, or both. Either way, there is a lot of passion packed into that crowd.

I find that the comic book fans tend to accompany the cinematic fans. It makes the experience more interactive. They always sit together, and you can tell which is which, because at any given moment, the two are looking at each other like this:

It’s not only this way with Marvel movies, but with nearly any well-done (or otherwise) book-to-movie adaption. When you know how the story is vs. how it ought to be, it’s hard to keep quiet.

And after the credits roll, specifically with Marvel’s deliciously ambiguous after-credit scenes, everyone turns to the reader to interpret. Not always so much because they’re confused, but because the reader is having a fit in the aisles, waving their arms, going,

Whether the adaption was done well or not, a reader is always a mess after a movie.

Exhibit A: Did you see the internet after the first installment of the Hobbit came out? People were rioting in the [virtual] streets.

Exhibit B: What about after Catching Fire? Parades. Balloons.

Exhibit C: Percy Jackson. (You just started weeping, didn’t you?)

I read Hunger Games before I saw it, so I have that reader’s perspective – and yet I am baffled to no end about how angry people are that Madge was left out. This minor character, who had her name mentioned maybe three and a half times, became the freaking Mockingjay to the readers’ cause.

See, when someone loves something, and someone else comes along and rearranges it, it’s not hard to understand that there would be emotional upset. I think what irks us the most, though, is that it becomes canon. Obviously, it doesn’t change original, proper canon, but in this grand, cinematic universe, we have to accept something other than what is familiar.

And that’s not fair. Every feeling rebels against that sort of change, and rightfully so.

This passion for the story, whether fury over a change, or outright joy over a film’s faithfulness, is what makes readers such an adventure to catch a movie with. Alternately, the reader will always need someone less involved in the story to explain things to. It’s a beautiful, symbiotic relationship that everyone should experience.

10/10, highly recommend.

I suppose all this is to say that when a reader invites you to go see The Fault in Our Stars this week, say yes.

They need you.

Dreamboat Eyes

28 Apr

I’ve told you before how much I love A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle.

I’ve definitely already discussed my adoration for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

So as I’ve just recently returned from a trip to OSF to see A Wrinkle in Time adapted for the stage, we can safely assume that I have no plans to ever stop talking about the experience ever ever.

That’s what this post is for. You’ve been warned.

This was a Christmas gift from my sister Jennifer, so she was my traveling buddy this time around. Therefore, she was the designated receiver of slaps and elbow nudges.

(When I get excited, I have the unfortunate propensity to physically attack the nearest human being. It’s totally endearing.)

We walked into the Angus Bowmer. Slap. Slap slapslapslap.

Calvin walked on stage. Nudge. nudge nudgenudGENUDGENUDGE ELBOW STAB.

(Jen is has to be a good sport.)

As the actors milled about the stage [see also: taunting us] waiting for the play to begin, Calvin lay down and and began to practice his spin with the basketball in the air. And it hurt me a little. I played basketball until ninth grade, so I have experienced that particular drill too many times to not be nervous watching someone else do it. (Dropping the ball can go so wrong. Eventually, that basketball is either headed for your nose, the sloshiest part of your gut, or, by some ill-intentioned miracle, three hundred feet away. I found that each one happened to me with the same frequency.) So when Calvin actually did drop the ball and had to do the scramble of shame to go grab it, I felt that we connected.

It doesn’t take much. I make a lot of friends with people who are unaware of our friendship.

I make a lot of friends with people who don't know about our friendship.

After all, he was dressed like a Weasley, and they’re a friendly bunch for the most part.

When the lights lowered and the play began in earnest,  the actress playing Charles Wallace opened up a copy of A Wrinkle in Time and read aloud,

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

It felt like reading the book. Every cast member eventually filed out, each one alternately reading a line or two of the introduction and helping Meg (Alejandra Escalante) act it out. We quickly met her mom, saw the rumors about her dad, understood her sibling relationships, and absolutely felt her pain and confusion. The only thing that went through my mind in between the gaps of adoring thoughts for the beloved characters, I had only thoughts of adoration for the actors.

I have been way too excited for this play from the very beginning. Of course it started when I heard it was going to exist. I mean –

  • Favorite book
  • Favorite festival
  • Favorite medium of entertainment

And then I found out  Joe Wegner was cast – the fantastic actor who, evidently, was born to play Calvin. Then Alejandra Escalante, the talented, perfectly-cast, and adorable Juliet from OSF 2013. Mark Bedard, the amazing man whose voice I’ve had a crush on since She Loves Me 2010, and Dan Donahue, the marvelous actor whom I’ve been missing since Hamlet 2010, and Kate Hurster, the spectacular actress whom I have seen in possibly every single OSF play for the past five years. (no complaints. That lady is Wonder Woman)

 

The dialogue was verbatim from the book.  Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which were represented perfectly and adorably. The affection every character felt for the others was almost tangible. I adored every bit.

But like any spectacle-sporting girl who’s ever enjoyed a romantic comedy, one of my favorite scenes had to be in the twins’ vegetable garden, after Meg’s brief homework session with Calvin.

I mean, come on. Any scene that has the opener,

“Jeepers. Your braces sure shine in this moonlight,”

Is going to be a good one.

I admit to [and embrace] every drop of cliche associated with the following, but seeing as I blushed when I read the scene for the first time, you can imagine how I reacted when Perfect-for-Calvin Joe Wegner clumsily wiped off Meg’s glasses and  announced,

“You know, this is the first time I’ve seen you without your glasses. You’ve got dreamboat eyes.”

I kid you not, the entire audience collapsed into giggles like a classroom of second graders.

Meg’s reaction was just as priceless.

Nothing better.

And this is coming from someone who is fiercely in love the book. A book adaption is almost always a little bit of a disappointment. In fact, I was certain, going in, that they would try to find a way to squirm out of doing Mrs. Whatsit’s transformation. I was preparing myself to mourn its absence, but I didn’t really blame them in advance. Because how could you portray that onstage? That’s ridiculous. They can’t do that.

They did do that.

Perfect.

Short version: I loved this play. The whole audience seemed to. That affection is precisely why it had to be perfect, and also why it was. Wrinkle in Time is a story about love and how it destroys obstacles.

Mrs. Whatsit loved Meg into a solution for her problem. Meg loved Charles Wallace out of his enslavement. Calvin loved Meg out of her loneliness. The whole Murry family is held together by love, and the love needs to be almost corporeal in such a production, for both the original story, and for the audience. It was. I felt like I had received a hug from everyone involved in it.

I’m not even certain how to properly describe it.

You should just go watch it instead.

Seriously though.

Additionally: Because Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

16 Oct

Let me tell you a thing about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

It’s marvelous. Eleven plays on three theaters for around nine months. The actors are consistently superb, and the the plays never disappoint. I look forward to OSF every year, and try to glean as much advance knowledge about every season as I possibly can.

For example, I found out they were doing My Fair Lady around September of last year, so I have been looking forward to this season for something way too long. I watched the previews, researched the actors, counted down the days, and finally, finally, actually went to OSF and watched the plays.

I went with a group this year, as I have every year since 2010. It started out as a thing my literature group did, but each year, more people come who want to go to OSF with group rate tickets, and this time around we ended up with about fifty people, mainly teens and a few of their parents.

So obviously there was some carpooling involved, and, once again obviously, there was a lot of singing involved in that particular process. The people in my car were really good sports about this (you’re a woman of steel, mom). I shared a ride with my friends the Wasp, the Invisible Woman, the Scarlet Witch, and Mockingbird.

(Those are real people, by the way. Those may not be their real names, but I promise I didn’t just name four of my imaginary friends.)

Heading up the group is a person about whom I have blogged before, so you can feel as though you already know her (we’ll call her Martha Smith). You may remember a few months back when I spent an entire post trying to calm myself down because someone insulted my favorite book?

There she is!

I had thought I’d passed this particular stumbling block of rage in my life; I respect this woman after all, she is very sweet most of the time, and she used to write nice things in the margins of my essays when I was in her class.

The second morning we were in Ashland, Martha Smith called us all together after breakfast to talk about the play we had seen the night before, and the play we were going to see that night (I talk about those plays here). Somehow, it turned into a talk about something else entirely.

“I read a lot of books to find the right ones for our class. One of which was Wrinkle in Time, which was completely irredeemable, no value to be found…. I just wouldn’t waste my time on it.”

Read those last two sentences again, replacing “Wrinkle in Time” with the name of your best friend, and you’ll have a ballpark idea of how I felt. And I was in the front row, man. There were people around me. So, instead of growling like a feral dog, like I did with the whole email fiasco, I turned to the Invisible Woman and mouthed “Get me out of here.” She’s a good soul, and gave me her hand to squeeze until the subject changed.

But it came back.

Days later, but the subject did come back.

We had a couple more days full of unbridled awesome, brought to life by unhealthy amounts of references to fictional universes, quoting British dramas, singing show tunes, and using My Fair Lady-inspired pick-up lines (Hey girl. I’ve grown accustomed to your face).

Thursday was our last full day, and its most anticipated-events  were showers at a swimming pool (Up until now, it had been forty-something teenagers with no showers for three days. Not ideal.) and an interview with an Ashland actor.

Our group has been doing this since 2011; we kidnap an actor as he tries to leave the theater and lead him blind-folded into our midst. We then pelt him with weird questions until he weeps. (at least, that’s what it feels like)

It’s good fun!

This year, we interviewed Joe Wegner, who played Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

One of the questions was about whether Wegner knew the actor who played the easy-on-the-eyes Robin Hood (John Tufts), whom our group had seen in Heart of Robin Hood the night before.

When Wegner answered positively, and mentioned that Tufts had recently had a baby with his wife, the girl in front of me headdesked.

Just let her head fall down on the table in defeat.

It was tragic.

I widened my eyes, distanced myself from her, and hoped that I wasn’t quite as painfully obvious when I fangirled.

And then I went home and blogged to strangers about my fangirlisms.

Hm.

Moving on?

Halfway into the interview, in between references to Game of Thrones, Zoolander, and Bruce Almighty, Wegner began to address a question regarding the actor casting process.

“Actually,”

he concluded,

“I’ve been cast for this one play, you guys might have read it; it’s actually a world premiere, Wrinkle in Time?”

Evidently, I forgot that real people were sitting around me, because I gasped like a drowning woman and adopted a facial expression not unlike the one I had on while Robin Hood was gallivanting around the stage with a certain ring.

So, you know.

He continued,

“I play Calvin.”

I got to talk to this actor afterward, shake his hand (Didn’t want to creep him out by tackling him and telling him what a perfect Calvin he would make), and ask him about who was playing Meg.

She’s perfect, by the way.

Everything is perfect.

Wrinkle in Time and Ashland and Calvin and Meg and sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows

What?

Sorry. I’m fine. Let’s get back on track here.

It’s worth mentioning that at the end of the trip, my friend Lestrade (once again: real person, fake name) talked to Martha Smith and confronted her with the beauty that is Wrinkle in Time and why it had a profound effect on her.

Martha even sort of apologized to the Madeleine L’engle fans the next morning.

Good on you, mate.

This was a fantastic trip, as it has been every time I attend. Oregon Shakespeare Festival is up there with Christmas on my list of favorite annual events. And while this trip certainly set the bar high…

I’m very excited for 2014.

Maybe I should read Wrinkle in Time again to prepare.

Career Mapping for the Fictionally Inclined Part 2

25 Jul

In Part 1 of Career Mapping for the Fictionally Inclined, I discussed how important it is to begin thinking about what you will do with your life one day. The fictional world is full of career opportunities, and in the interest of deciding which one is best for us, I have extended the job search.

Let’s begin.

Disney Princess.

Upside: Do I have to explain the upsides of being a Disney princess? I can talk to animals, have spectacular hair, my wardrobe is superb, I can sing in public and not get weird looks, and handsome prince is often involved at some point.

Downside: My father apparently has terrible judgment when it comes to spouses. I, for one, would like to know how he went from marrying my mother, who was allegedly a perfect angel, to marrying an evil sorceress who murdered him shortly after the wedding. Come on, Dad. I’m sure there were signs. And if step-mothers are not an issue in my story, then there’s always some conflict, whether it be my social standing, my prince thinking I’m a dude, or how trapped in a tower I am.

Psychic Detective

Upside: So. many. snacks. Additionally, I am expected to do the finger-waving to make my psychic powers more convincing, and I can’t tell you how happy I would be to get paid for doing that. My job description? To catch killers, have adventures, flirt with clients, and work with my best friend. You know that’s right.

Downside: I literally lie for a living. This could get old after a while. I would be a considerable target for serial killers, and, if I’m being totally honest with myself, I would gain thirty pounds in the first week if I were allowed to have so many snack breaks.

X-Man

Upside: Mutant powers and world-saving – nuff said.

Downside: X-Men probably catch more drama than any other super-powered individual in the Marvel multiverse. Not only does every non-mutant person hate my guts, but somehow, by the end of the school year at Xavier’s, every student has about three ex-significant others. Not to mention, the chances of being driven insane and altering reality or destroying a planet are frighteningly high.

Maze Runner

Upside: Most prestigious position in the community. A Maze Runner gets exercise, respect, and the knowledge that he may one day solve the maze, free the Gladers, and maybe get some answers.

Downside: That “knowledge” I mentioned above is a bit closer to wishful thinking than a state of knowing. And I’d have to watch out for Grievers, the most terrifyingly confusing creature known to YA literature. Not cool. It’s also worth mentioning that if I run for longer than seventy-four seconds, my own body starts trying to murder me.

Gamemaker

Upside: Fabulous dress code. I could smother myself in gold powder, and not one person could question me. I could stick stickers on my face and not one person would question me. I could stitch an outfit together out of teddy bears and hand grenades and no one would question me.

Downside: The whole sending-23-kids-off-to-certain-death thing is a bit of an issue for me.

Doctor

       Wait, a doctor or the Doctor?

The Doctor.

       Of course.

Upside: Traveling through all of time and space, making friends, and saving galaxies – I could get used to this. The company vehicle has its own personality, and knows where I should go before even I do. I have no living co-workers, so no one can cramp my style. My style, by the way, would love to include wearing a vegetable or a fez.

Downside: Time is in flux, I know, but I’m sure I would still find a way to totally mess it up. I’m not a tidy crier, and I’m pretty sure I have to cry at least once a day in this occupation. The pressure of saving the universe is an intense one, and I for one would not like to see the universe under my protection. Did I mention that I have no living co-workers? Yes? Well, did I mention that that’s because I killed them?

Once again, I believe there are more fictional occupations that I missed, so feel free to give me some more ideas! And remember, when deciding which career path is best for you, be sure to factor in whether you have the right temperament, goals, and/or species to properly complement the job.

Happy hunting!

How I Almost Went to the Dark Side

12 Jul

Opinions are important.

If you take the time and initiative to form one, it shows that you are thinking, and that is the sign of a healthy mind, and one that is not content to be passive in every issue. I respect that.

By the way: today’s message comes to you from the girl who shouted angry verbal abuse at her email inbox for an inordinate amount of time after receiving a correspondence from someone with a different point of view from hers.

Wait though, before you start judging me, know that she insulted my favorite book.

So, see? It’s hardly an overreaction that I’ve worked up enough hostility to expect Emperor Palpatine to walk through the door any second and invite me to join the Dark Side.

If you’re a book lover, chances are you’ve felt my pain. In fact, if you’ve ever passionately enjoyed any medium of entertainment, you’ve probably felt it.

You’re having a conversation with someone, and everything is going just fine until the topic of literature, music, or television comes up. You ask the person how they feel about a certain novel or band or show, or whatever it is – you make sure to leave out the bit about how much irrational love you have for it. You are testing the waters to see if they share your clearly impeccable taste.

And then they say it. They have an opinion. And heaven forbid – it is not yours.

There are nice ones, who present their bad experience in a less-than-overly-critical way.

And then there are the ones like I read in an email a couple days ago. The ones that are meant to pick apart the subject matter, but instead are received like personal attacks. I read the message and, although the offending individual was only insulting A Wrinkle in Time, I felt as though she were calling my newborn daughter[nonexistent] an ugly, disgusting piece of trash.

In a case like mine, one is left with only three options:

  • Respond with an all-caps email that informs the person that they have a horrific lack of taste and that you hope they “STEP ON A LEGO EVERY DAY FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK”
  • Respond with a kind email that points out the parts of the book that had a profound effect on you and ask whether the person would consider going over them again
  • Stew angrily and not reply at all; avoid eye contact in future run-ins; never mention subject matter again

Guess which one I chose.

No, not the first one, who do you think I am? Wow, guys.

I’m very possessive of the things I love, and in a lot of cases, that’s perfectly fine, even beneficial. But when it comes to something like this, I need to let it go.

Chances are, in my line of interests, this is going to happen to me again, and it will likely happen to you as well. The Sith Lord of fandom-fury will reach out to us again.

“The hate is swelling in you now… Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.”

When this happens, we need to step back, raise our  light sabers, and say, “No.” No, we will control our anger, not be controlled by it. We will love what we love but not hate others for it not loving it. And, actually, while we’re at it, we should probably invest in light sabers.

Thus ends today’s rant. Let me know if something like this has happened to you before, and whether you dealt with it better than I did.

If you need me, I’ll be re-reading A Wrinkle in Time so I can console her and remind her how beautiful she is.

The Sneaky Cycle of the Serial Program

29 May

Having Netflix is like having all of time and space in your backyard.

Enchanting? Yes.

Irresistible?  Very nearly.

Dangerous? More than I can say.

At the beginning, it is all innocent enough. First you think, “I can watch that one TV show that I don’t have the channel for!” but then it turns into, “I heard good things about that show! Also this show. And that one. Probably.” until it finally devolves into, “That film exists. Might as well partake!”

Even more sinister is the amount of shows on Netflix. You could never really run out of them, and if you did, well, welcome to your first interaction (albeit over the internet) with another human being! We have support groups for people like you. (They’re also on the internet. Imagine that!)

And TV shows are sneakier than movies. With movies, you can have closure. When the credits roll after something like Megamind, you think, That was a lovely movie. I might watch it again someday.

After the end sequence of an episode of Lost, you think, I’m going to watch this show until it literally kills me, aren’t I? 

Because TV shows keep going! You have more each week! (Or, if you have Netflix, all the time) And with a weekly dose, you begin to form a habit. I got to the point that every Sunday night, I was sitting down to watch Once Upon a Time and thinking, I hope this episode isn’t as bad as it was last week. (It invariably was) My dad heard about my system and informed me that this habit was just as bad as continuing to date someone who never lived up to my expectations. I replied by telling him that I was sure that if I just stayed with the show a little longer, I could change it for the better.

This is what normal people refer to as “a problem.” However, I’m glad to say that Once Upon a Time and I are now taking time away from each other, and we’re both acting very mature about it.

I’ve noticed that television shows that you don’t end up disliking tend to stick to the following steps:

     1. Introduction. Maybe you know someone who watches the show, and you watch it out of courtesy/curiosity. Or maybe you’ve just been wondering about the show for a while and you decide to give it a try.

     2. Interest. This is when you realize the show is pretty okay. Maybe you’ll watch the next episode, possibly even the rest of the season. You know, if you get around to it.

     3. Intrigue. Now you like the show. Why hadn’t you heard about if before? Maybe you’ll attend a marathon showing of this program. You might even tell a couple other people about how good it is.

     4. Insanity. This is when you’re watching episodes you’ve already seen three times. This is when you start buying merchandise related to the show. This is when you start making references to people who don’t even know who you are, much less what the show is. And of course, this is when you turn to the internet for help with your now out-of-control feelings. And you start a blog.

Some people stop with the first three steps, and that is fine, not to mention socially acceptable. I even know a couple people who only went to step #2 and #3 with Doctor Who, and that’s downright impressive to me.

Book series are just as perilous, and often follow the same steps. The only difference there is that instead of Netflix, the place to go to entirely lose your wits is called a “library.” (And it’s the most glorious place on earth)

The main thing we have to watch is where enjoying something turns into wasting far too much time on something. Hey, if a story is going to keep going on, we want to be there to witness it. And there’s no shame in that!

Just be warned. It’s dangerous out there, and it’s infinitely more dangerous to go alone.

Take a fangirl with you.

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

11 Apr

When I was twelve years old, I got into a strange bout of entertainment depression. I’d come to the conclusion that no books and very few movies were interesting enough to hold my attention. During that bout, somewhere in late winter, I was browsing the children’s section of my library with little hope of finding anything suitable to my frighteningly picky desires. That was when I found the book series (authored by Joe Craig) that defined my literature experience for nearly a year.

Jimmy Coates: Assassin, the first in an eight-book series about an eleven-year-old boy with a mysterious secret: he’s not human. Well, not entirely, anyway. Jimmy’s DNA can be traced back to a test tube in a laboratory. Designed with stunning intricacy, Jimmy is a mere 38% human, the other 62% genetically modified assassin, created by the British government for the British government. Jimmy is programmed to be a fully functional killer by the age of eighteen, his human thoughts to be completely swamped by the killer inside. But that killer is not who Jimmy is. Even though his powers have been activated [very] early due to unforeseen dangers, eleven-year-old Jimmy will fight against the government, even against himself if he must, to escape a destiny that he has forsaken.

And there it is. That is all I ever wanted to read for a year. I don’t think I have to explain how much of an identity crisis I had when I realized that when I grew up I only wanted to be 38% human. But that’s not what this is about. This is about patience and how it pays off.

When I finished what was published of the series (book six of eight), I was thirteen years old.

I’m sixteen years old now. No new books have come out yet.

Obviously, I’ve read different books since then – the series helped me come out of my anti-book shell. But no new Jimmy was read. Not until now. Just a little while ago I learned that the next in the series, Jimmy Coates: Blackout, is being published in June. June. This June.

I’m no longer a part of this book’s intended audience, thanks to the extra three years the waiting process provided.

I’m much too old for Jimmy now, and the crush I used to have on him has been rendered rather inappropriate.

I don’t even remember how the last book ended.

But there is no way these things are going to stop me. Come June, I’m going to enjoy the heck out of that book whether I like it or not. Twelve-year-old me would be so proud.

All this to say, friends, family, and Fangirls, waiting pays off.

So hang in there, Sherlockians. (or should I say Holmesless Network?)

Your time is coming too.

The Boy, The Dog, and The [Endearing] Drunkard

4 Apr

Guess what? I’m thinking about the quality literature of my childhood today. Prepare yourself for a very Tintin-centric post.

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My Dad grew up reading the Tintin graphic novels (written by Herge, 1907-1983), and, good father that he is, he passed it along to me. Considering that I began my journey at around eight years old, it’s not hard to imagine that by now, I’ve read a good deal about Tintin and his adventures.

So it’s only natural that I want to be Tintin when I grow up.

For those of you haven’t partaken of this particular pleasure, let me explain.

Tintin is a Belgian reporter. Or so we’re told. Despite never actually reporting or working at all, Tintin manages to sustain a lifestyle as a well-known, well-traveled, successful young man.

And that, right there, is the American dream, ladies and gentlemen. Tintin gets paid [presumably] to go on adventures and use his status as a reporter to get everywhere.

China.

America.

Tibet.

Sydney.

The bottom of the ocean.

The moon.

Everywhere.

And everywhere he goes, he brings along his faithful companion, Snowy, whose sound effects baffled me for most of my early childhood.

Wooah

 

 

 

 

 

 

For real. I have still yet to accept “wooah” as an appropriate spelling for any noise made by a dog.

And, lest we forget, Tintin’s other recurring friend: a drunkard with a nasty temper and potty mouth. An endearing drunkard, however, so it’s okay.  Who doesn’t love Captain Haddock?

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As you traverse this enrapturing and delightful series of graphic novels, you will encounter:

  • Villains with terrible names

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  • Bad influences for children

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  • Long explanations that insure that you will never understand any plot fully until you can convince yourself to commit five minutes to reading the tiny, tiny script crammed into one panel

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  • Crippling jealousy over the fact that your boss doesn’t assign you to march off haphazardly into the unknown with questionable, yet endearing companions

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  • Humor lost on the age group that the stories were written for
  • Fantastic storylines
  • Adventure

These books were one of the hallmarks of my childhood, and I’ve yet to give them up in exchange for adulthood. I would absolutely recommend the original Tintin to anyone who likes the Tintin movie, likes quality and iconic literature, likes feeling awesome as they read a massive comic book, or has read Tintin in the past and needs a stroll down memory lane.

Thus ends today’s fangirling.

See you next time!

The One About Readers

15 Feb

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that they didn’t like to read, I’d probably have about six nickels.

*crickets*

::anticlimactic::

Okay, that isn’t many, but every time I took a step, I would hear those coins singing from my pocket, and I would think, “Oh, right. People are missing out.” And then after that, I would probably take them out and forget about them for a few weeks, and this coin metaphor for my non-reading friends should really have stopped a while ago.

I think that the disease of not reading starts by getting your heart broken. Maybe you read a book you regretted reading, or you couldn’t finish a story because the writer was so mind-numbingly bad. Even harder, perhaps you read a fantastic book… once. And then it was gone, never called you back, and the world’s been gray ever since. To those people, I want to say, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. Don’t give up, there’s some book for everyone. They want to be enjoyed as much as you want to enjoy one. Maybe you’re just looking in the wrong places. Have you tried online dating (I go to Goodreads.com, myself)?

And for those of you who know all too well the love of a hardbound novel at two in the morning, love on. The world needs more of you. When someone tells me they “don’t like reading” or “don’t read,” I have an emormously difficult time not telling them how cruel they’re being to themselves by keeping themselves in the dark.

As the great masterLemony Snicket once wrote,

“All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.”

Readers don’t see that as much as a warning as they do a challenge.

Take it away, Barney.