Bad Books

Hello Imaginary Friend,

Something has been bothering me lately. The idea of whether a book can be bad and I think my opinion is going to be unpopular.

How a book can be bad

There are two ways I can see a book being bad.

One; they come to life and try to stab people. (Arguably the homicidal books could be considered misunderstood. If people tried to bend my pages and break my spine, I’d be pissed.)

Two; if the book was decomposing and had gone bad. (I swear I will never write another book on banana peels again.)

Academics and Morality

You can analyze a book and come to the conclusion that it’s not of academic importance. Its themes are weak, its ideas cliché, its language reductive, and it’s message garbled. You can then pass judgment on it as an example of poor writing and say it’s bad.

You can also analyze a books Morality and message and find it to be opposed to your beliefs. You can find books reprehensible in their message and morals. Does that make a book bad? Evil yes bad, I’m not sure.

There are examples throughout history of people finding a book academically wanting and of no importance and being horribly wrong. My classic example is Shakespeare’s plays, academics of his time dismissed his plays as useless and base. Same has applied to morality.

Reading is Good

There are a lot of arguments about whether or not the Harry Potter series, Twillight Series, or 50 Shades of Grey Series are good.

There’s one argument that people use to stop discussing their worth. “At least they have people reading.” As an Aspiring Author, this argument makes perfect sense financially for me. More people who read equal a larger possible audience. So consider me biased.

Let’s take 50 Shades of Grey, (sold over 90 million books).

Are there many people who picked up the series, people who have never read before? Possibly. I’d guess there aren’t as many as Harry Potter since it’s aimed at an older audience.

Are those people going to try and find more like this to read? Probably. Either because they were disappointed and wanted something else or because they liked it and want more.

Is a whole group of people looking for something else in the same style a bad thing? I don’t know. I haven’t read the books but from what my sources tell me there are some pretty wrong notions on gender equality and the nature of BDSM. I’m willing to bet that there are some great books in the same genre that would reinforce good ideas and that there will be more people who find them because of it though.

Is it bad for the publishing world? I don’t know and I don’t have an opinion on this.

How can something so crappy be so popular? You’ll hear all sorts of sexist comments on this subject. Try to not punch those who make them. (It’s not worth it.) Something was missing from society and publishing that people didn’t know they wanted until they had the chance.

Whether it was the fact that 50 Shades of Grey wasn’t hiding behind a curtain, or that it made people talk about sex and erotica, I don’t know. But I’m convinced that it wasn’t a fluke but an untapped market.

What’s your point Eric?

Wow you’re impatient today. It’s simple. In my opinion it’s better for people to be reading and getting passionate about books than to never read and not care.

Reading is a great way to relax, learn new words, discover new worlds, and learn more about yourself.

Reading is good. Telling people what to read is bad.

Eric’s Rule about Media

This is something you’ve been told your whole life and it’s simply this:

Consume all media critically!

I’m sure I didn’t come up with this idea. None the less, passively consuming anything is a bad idea. Question what you’re consuming and try to understand what makes you like or dislike something.

By understanding how something makes you feel and what it’s trying to say you are not only helping yourself but you’ll be able to give people a better idea why you like or dislike something.

One last thing

STOP attacking people about what they read!

STOP acting like your preferred literature is better!

And

Read!
(Blogs, books, magazines, social media, newspapers, etc)

The Swiss Family Robinson (1960) – Movie Review

220px-Swiss_family_robinson322

Silver Stag Entertainment will be reviewing Pirates of the Caribbean March 16th. In order to prepare to re-watch it my wife and I are going to watch a bunch of old “Pirate” movies.

Arguably this movie isn’t about Pirates, and the original book didn’t have any Pirates in it, but it was a start and I hadn’t watched it in decades.

Characters

The characters were completely unlikeable. We have the super whiny youngest boy, the smart ass moping middle boy, the muscle bound lovable but dumb oldest, the overly stern father with a heart of gold, the useless mother, and the whiny useless flirty love interest.

The only likeable character was the Captain/Uncle who ends up saving the day.

Each character has their likable moments but overall I was almost cheering for the pirates

I won’t start ranting about how useless the women were in this movie. Let’s just say that they had less importance as characters and more importance as set pieces.

I give it 1 out of 5 for Characters

Story

The story was disjointed transitioning too quickly between scenes and taking too much time with parts of little importance.

The movie couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a family drama, survival movie, action adventure, or love story. Instead of integrating each style into the overall movie they wrote the scenes separately and sewed it together like some sort of Frankenstein’s monster.

If they had cut out the survival in the jungle scenes between the two boys and the girl it would have shaved 20 minutes off the movie and helped the flow.

I think the family scenes were heartwarming and make the movie.

I give it 2 out of 5 for Story

Sight and Sound

This was a beautiful movie, despite the low quality version we have, it’s filled with real jungle and real animals. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much a real tiger will add to a movie compared to a CGI recreation.

The soundtrack wasn’t memorable but it wasn’t bad either.

The screatching of the youngest was a little annoying though.

I give it 3 out of 5 for Sight and Sound

Fun

Most of the movie was cringe worthy but it did have enough scenes that were fun to watch that I didn’t hate every moment of my time.

I give it 3 out of 5 for Fun

Overall

It’s an uneven, chauvinistic, frustrating, but mildly entertaining movie. It’s a movie that is desperately in need for a remake.

If you don’t mind stupid characters and want to see a fun old style live action Disney movie this might be for you.

Final Score is 45%

The Swiss Family Robinson (1960) – Movie Review

220px-Swiss_family_robinson322

Silver Stag Entertainment will be reviewing Pirates of the Caribbean March 16th. In order to prepare to re-watch it my wife and I are going to watch a bunch of old “Pirate” movies.

Arguably this movie isn’t about Pirates, and the original book didn’t have any Pirates in it, but it was a start and I hadn’t watched it in decades.

Characters

The characters were completely unlikeable. We have the super whiny youngest boy, the smart ass moping middle boy, the muscle bound lovable but dumb oldest, the overly stern father with a heart of gold, the useless mother, and the whiny useless flirty love interest.

The only likeable character was the Captain/Uncle who ends up saving the day.

Each character has their likable moments but overall I was almost cheering for the pirates

I won’t start ranting about how useless the women were in this movie. Let’s just say that they had less importance as characters and more importance as set pieces.

I give it 1 out of 5 for Characters

Story

The story was disjointed transitioning too quickly between scenes and taking too much time with parts of little importance.

The movie couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a family drama, survival movie, action adventure, or love story. Instead of integrating each style into the overall movie they wrote the scenes separately and sewed it together like some sort of Frankenstein’s monster.

If they had cut out the survival in the jungle scenes between the two boys and the girl it would have shaved 20 minutes off the movie and helped the flow.

I think the family scenes were heartwarming and make the movie.

I give it 2 out of 5 for Story

Sight and Sound

This was a beautiful movie, despite the low quality version we have, it’s filled with real jungle and real animals. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much a real tiger will add to a movie compared to a CGI recreation.

The soundtrack wasn’t memorable but it wasn’t bad either.

The screatching of the youngest was a little annoying though.

I give it 3 out of 5 for Sight and Sound

Fun

Most of the movie was cringe worthy but it did have enough scenes that were fun to watch that I didn’t hate every moment of my time.

I give it 3 out of 5 for Fun

Overall

It’s an uneven, chauvinistic, frustrating, but mildly entertaining movie. It’s a movie that is desperately in need for a remake.

If you don’t mind stupid characters and want to see a fun old style live action Disney movie this might be for you.

Final Score is 45%

Break and Character Death

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’ve had an extremely productive day on the day job, and house front, unfortunately not so much on the writing front.

I’m going to take this week off from writing unless things go fantastically with the Galactus sized project I just got at work. It’ll give me some time to plot and prepare. This novel has been going in interesting and fun directions.

I was once again part of Silver Stag Entertainment’s Nights at the Round Table. Check it out.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGtHuKuj4qc&w=560&h=315]

Character Death

I still need help deciding who will die in my novel. At the moment it’s a three way tie. (I can hear a certain author-friend laughing manically.)

Please vote here!

expendability

 

Thank you.

Eric

Character Death

expendability

Dear Imaginary friends,

I made you a promise a few months ago that I would kill off a character in my next story. I jumped straight into a novel. So I need your help to decide what character to kill. There are 6 main characters and 2 secondary characters that you can choose from. I’ll describe them and you vote in the poll below. If you can’t see the poll vote in the comments, or message me on facebook.

Primary Characters

Adelaide

Female. Of Scottish descent, 24, average height orange/red hair green eyes. She’s the floor counselor for the patients at the institute. She has a master’s degree and a secret. She has lived her whole life with an imaginary friend. This fuels her need to understand psychological disorders.

Ashley

Female. Of Hispanic descent, 19, average height brown hair, green eyes. She’s an uber geek who has been hospitalized for violent night terrors. She is the only patient in her group who was court ordered to go to the institute, after she violently attacked her boyfriend in her sleep on prom night.

Kathrine (Kitty)

Female. Adelaide’s imaginary friend that is part tiger part human. She has a penchant for being a little wild and enjoying making sexual innuendoes. She’s playful and has a strange ability to know things that Adelaide doesn’t.

Kiri

Female. Of Maori descent, 16, short with very short black hair and reddish brown eyes. Suffering from a near fatal case of Anorexia and of sleep eating, she’s been at the institute for almost two years. She wrestles with what she knows is true and what she believes is true. She blames her mother, who is more interested in social status and what’s lady like, for most of her issues.

Paul

Male. White, 25, tall blond with blue eyes. After an extremely traumatic event Paul left the police force. In his dreams he smells fire and wakes up coughing ash. He checks into the institute after he starts setting fires while he sleeps.

Terrance

Transgendered (Physically male). White, 16, tall and broad with light brown hair and eyes. Terrance is a sleepwalker. He openly repeats his hyper-conservative family’s views on homosexuality, despite not understand it. He is the smallest and the most passive of four brothers and has been picked on his whole life. It has caused him to close himself off and not admit, even to himself, that his is transgendered.

Secondary Characters

Doctor Campbell

Male. White, 56 tall grey brown hair with grey eyes. The world’s specialist in Parasomnia related disorders and the head of the Aux-Anges Institute. He hides a secret. *Spoiler spoiler spoiler* is his *Spoiler*

Michael

Maile. African-Canadian, 25 average height short dark brown hair and light brown eyes. He is a nurse at the hospital. He’s a lucid dreamer and all around nice guy. He’s the patient’s favorite nurse. Will possibly be upgraded to main character if one of them dies.

So who dies?

[polldaddy poll=7829106]

Thank you for your help,

Éric

Responses and Houses. Yay!

I have a lot of stuff to talk about today so let’s split it up into topics.

House

Let’s start with the good news. My wife and I have bought a house. My in-laws have been a great help throughout the process and I am lucky to have them. We’re moving on the 29th of March, which means I’ll be crazy stupid busy for the next month. I’m trying to fight down the panic right now.

Who thought moving 800+movies and 2300+ books would be so much work?

Writing

On Writing by Stephen King

The last book I wrote came together in amazing and beautiful ways, for me anyways. It was a culmination of three years’ worth of thinking and planning.

This new book isn’t like that. Writing is hard. No seriously, some days I wonder why I bother. I’ve been writing a novel a year for the past three years and I’m now a third of the way through my fifth novel and sometimes I feel like it’s just too much work.

Then I start writing and realize how much joy it brings me. It’s a feeling that I have to hold onto even in my most depressed and insecure moments.

But sometimes it would be nice to get appreciation from someone who doesn’t know me.

Publisher Response

In that vein, I received word from one of the two publishers yesterday. It’s a kinda rejection and possibly the nicest I’ve received. That’s saying something, I’ve been rejected several dozen times (not much compared to most authors but I’m still young and haven’t written enough short stories) and they’ve all be extremely nice about it. I’ve really only received 2 kinds of rejections; the nice ones and the “no response” rejections.

They basically said they liked the story and the characters but that it needed a good rewrite and editing. The word “compelling” was used which I take as a great compliment.

The only part that stung was that they said it read like a first draft. It was my sixth draft and third rewrite. I’ve reached the point with the book were I know I need professional help. (Insert Psychologist joke here!) They did say I could resubmit once I had reedited and rewrote the novel.

It makes sense, they’re a smaller publishing company and my book needs an editor, which is expensive. I’ll wait and see what the other publishing house says and then I’ll have to look for an editor. Unfortunately editors are expensive and we just bought a house.

Anyone know a good editor that won’t cost me more than a used car?

As I said I’m still waiting on one reply for this novel and I’m waiting on a short story anthology. I’m still hopeful.

I would like to thank the publishing house for the sweet things they said… so if you’re reading, thank you.

Silver Stag Entertainment

I’ve really been enjoying being a guest of this podcast for the past few weeks. It’s great to sit around and chat about movies and books with smart and funny people.

I was on the panel this week for The Diamond Throne by David Eddings.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm7qhKtNFlo]

Survey

Tomorrow is the last day to fill in our survey so if you want to win that 10$ gift card this is your chance.

Go do the survey, Only 2 Days left.

contest

Thank you for listening. Tomorrow you’ll get to choose who dies in my newest novel.

Éric