Purging Books

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I LOVE books. The smell, the feel, the reading… If you’ve been to our house (Books End) you know we have an impressive library. You might be surprised to hear that every couple of years we go through it and purge our books.

Check out Rock Paper Cynic

As I get older and less wise, I’ve come to know my tastes a little better and there are books that I have no interest in reading. Books that I thought I would love but now just make me go, “do I have to?”. I can make four categories that I have no interest in reading anymore.

Classics

I’m not talking the old classics. I have a special place in my heart for Beowulf, The Three Musketeers, and other classical literature. (Although I have an illogical hate of epistolary style books.)

No I’m talking about the classics of genre that people will be shocked you haven’t read. Things that are classics because we grew up with them not because they are the greatest. Not that I judge anyone for loving these, but I’m not interested in another 7-13 book epic fantasy about a farmboy.

Power Triangles

These are often in romance, adventure, horror, or urban fantasy. There’s a main character and two others that are trying to control them. This can be villains, lovers, or sometimes both. It’s filled with cringe and drives me up the wall.

That means it takes a lot for me to read a vampire book and I shudder at the description of most werewolf books. Again they aren’t bad books, I just don’t have the mental energy.

Violent Horror

I like horror, and I like Stephen King, but there are some that I just can’t handle. Overly violent and crude horror makes my stomach turn and makes me want to stop reading. These can be fantastic literature that challenge your way of thinking but I don’t want to read it. I’ll probably never re-read A Clockwork Orange.

Pretentious Writing

Every once in a while someone tries to elevate a genre and writes about a vampire, or modern wizard, but with prose that’s so pretentious is passes purple and hits ultraviolet. If the first page is so long winded that I zone out… It’s not for me.

There can be beauty in this, but it has to be done in service to the writing not the authors ego.


So these books and those that I never plan on rereading are the ones we’re getting rid of. There’s only a couple dozen, which is nothing compared to the couple thousand we still have.

So what are you sick of reading?

Éric

Trolls – WMR

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2016 movie Trolls.

Story

The basic concept for this movie is that the Trolls are being hunted as food by Bergens. The unreliable narrator tells us that it’s the only way the Bergens can experience happiness. This is a dark concept that had me extremely interested. It’s probably the best part of the movie.

The theme of happiness runs throughout the movie with the inevitable, “Happy was inside you the whole time,” ending.

The humour is fun when they go a little psychedelic, but mostly relies on fat jokes, fart jokes, and a super awkward romance.

The film’s message ends up falling flat in it’s complete disregard for diversity and blatant misunderstanding of depression and trauma.

Score: 0 (I can’t believe anyone sober could approve this script.)

Characters

Ripped straight from an 80’s high school drama, these characters manage to have less depth than the dolls they’re based off.

Sad geek/loner/weirdo pines for beautiful/vapid/popular girl. His entire journey is to realize it’s okay to be happy. He’s finally accepted when he changes colours and starts to sing, effectively conforming to the group.

The king Bergen and scullery maid love story is so shallow they need four separate romance tropes to prop it up.

Score: 0

Dialogue

Overall the dialogue is pretty bland. A lot of, “Be Happy,” and the music is mostly used as reinforcement of the themes.

Forgettable overall.

Score: 0

Visuals

The visuals are pretty decent, even though they looked ripped from Little Big Planet and Kirby. They’re used to great effect to show the contrast and texture of this horror world, where there’s always a bigger fish to summon.

Score: 0.5

Fun

At the ten minute mark after the 3rd fart joke, I started to get worried.

The movie was fun when it concentrated on the contrast between joy and horror, but mostly I found myself wishing I was watching the new Cats movie instead.

Score: 0.5

Conclusion

This movie is offensive, awkward, and downright boring. Save yourself the pain and watch something else.

Final Score: 1 Star

Serial Story 2020 – Point Zero

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

You voted and were quite clear on what story should become this year’s serial story.

This year’s serial story will be Point Zero!

Point Zero

Setting: Our world after an alien attack that destroys several small towns before the aliens disappear.
Genre: Disaster, Post Apocalyptic, Super Hero

Follow Sam as they and their four best friends must deal with an alien attack that leaves the world irrevocably changed and the superpowers that it’s given them.

Every generation has a disaster that is etched into their memories. My grandparents had JFK, my parents had 9/11, and we had first contact.

It was a cool August night in my childhood hometown. It had a name at the time, something nature related that no one cares about; now it’s called Point Zero. It was a small town barely numbering in the four digits. I sat on the duck in the grade school playground, it sprung back and forwards every time I took a drink from the bottle of vodka in my hand.

Go Read the Rest of Point Zero

What is a Serial Story?

A serial story is a story that I write every month. I don’t plan ahead, I don’t have any idea how it’s going to end.

If I miss a month, you are rewarded with a bonus chapter. Yay!

It’s that simple.


I’ll have have Chapter 1 ready some time this month.

Thanks for voting and reading,

Éric

While you wait for the next chapter, check out previous serial stories:

Dear Pegasus – 6 months

Dear baby Pegasus,

You give fantastic hugs.

You’ve been around for just over 6 months and you’ve been a great baby. You love to sleep (except this past week), you eat well, and you are the smiliest child ever.

I’m amazed at how long you are willing to play by yourself (mostly) and by how alert and resourceful you are.

You’re moments away from crawling and that sometimes frustrates you or makes you fall on your face. It’s adorable and a little funny.

The past week you’ve thrown your sleep schedule out the window and decided anything goes. A few nights you refused to sleep before 3 in the morning. It was hard, especially that your sister had a cold/flu thing and really needed the sleep.

I’m sorry for having been a little less than patient. It never lasts because you turn that darling smile on me and I melt.

Before you were born I was worried that I didn’t have room to love you as much as I love your sister. I was very wrong.

I love you so much little Pegasus!

Your Papa

Wednesday Movie Reviews

Hello Cinephiles!

I love stories, and movies are a beautiful and engrossing way to tell stories. Since I watch a lot of movies, I’ll be dedicating my Wednesday’s column to reviews.

Criteria

I’ll be judging movies on Story, Characters, Dialogue, Visuals, and Fun. Each will be worth 1 star (.5 is allowed).

This should give my reviews a standard that will allow me to compare them.

Qualifications

I have watched movies my whole life.

Not enough?

I have a degree in Communications specializing in media creation and analysis. I worked as a videographer and as a video lab technician. I have 4 published novels and have been writing in this blog for over a decade. I help host Nights at the Round Table for Silver Stag.

I also used to work at a video store. For my younger audience, that’s where you could rent VHS tapes to bring home and watch movies.

Philosophy

Movies, like all stories, are meant to make us feel and experience something. They are entertainment and emotion. A good movie can make you feel something, a great movie can make everyone in the room feel the same thing.

Disclaimer

If you think the acronym SJW is an insult and that political correctness is a bad thing… move along, these reviews aren’t for you.

I consider representation, punching up, and social messages to be essential in a good film.


Well that’s about all. See you Wednesday for the first film review.

Good watching,

Éric

Statue and Bust

There were these little alcoves all around the room with statues. I wish I could remember whether the guide mentioned if the statues were there in the palace’s heyday or not…the alcoves would be a great place to have a tiny modicum of privacy. (Not that that seemed to matter, as the king regularly had visitors in his chambers whilst he was getting dressed, used the chamber pot, or bathed. I remember THAT because I remember thinking “ugh, glad I’m not the king in those times”.

Mondays?

Don’t forget to vote on this year’s serial story.


Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Yes, it’s Monday. I haven’t blogged on a Monday since (checks records) November 2013. Holy fertilizer! That’s just over 6 years.

Well, welcome to the new schedule. Mondays and Fridays, I’ll talk about whatever I feel like, Tuesday and Thursdays with be the Travelling TARDIS, and Wednesday will be Movie Reviews with the occasional Fandom Travel or Blush Post.

Why am I recapping stuff you already know? I’m really tired. Dragon had the flu and Pegasus is screaming-teething. That means I didn’t get much sleep… zzzzz

So short post for me today.

Later Days,

Éric