Yet another article about 50 Shades of Grey

I, quite frankly, hate 50 Shades of Gray.

It has nothing to do with subject of the book. I have read multiple articles where people denounce the book as pornography in book form and wonder what our society is coming to. I have news for them, it’s called erotica and it’s been around for a while.

Nor is this about the general kinkiness of the sex in the book. You are free to like what they like, get on with your bad self.

This isn’t even about the vaguely abusive and blatantly controlling relationship between the two. If any woman reads this book and thinks that it displays a healthy relationship, she has got bigger problems. My problem with 50 Shades is its origin.

In case you didn’t know, 50 Shades started out as fan fiction of the Twilight series. Fan fiction is where a fan of a book, television series, movie or whatever the writer is currently fangirling over takes the characters of before mentioned work.  They either rewrite the story , often making different couples, or they put them in a completely new setting. I actually quite enjoy fan fiction, my favorite being Inuyasha fanfiction (Sesshomaru and Kagome forever!). It can be a fun pass time and as they are posted on free websites it harms no one.

Until you take one of these stories, change the character names and publish it. That is exactly what EL James did and I am a bit miffed on Stephanie Meyers part. There are two main differences between what she did and normal fanfiction. First, she made money off of this, a lot of money. Second, with fan fiction it clearly states where you got the characters and/or story line. Most people don’t know where the series even came from. If EL James wanted to write kinky books for soccer moms to blush over, that is her prerogative. But using another author’s characters and taking the credit is just wrong.

Book Review: Grimm by M.K. Eidem

This week’s review is by M.K. Ediem, the first book in her Tornian series, Grimm. This is a bit different from my normal reviews as it is not a short story, it is actually a fairly long book. Also, I listened to it in audiobook form.

I am a bit of an audio book junky. My day job is a normal, but sometimes boring, desk job. So often while I work I will listen to audiobooks, just to liven up my day. I adore reading but, like most others, don’t always have the time and audio books are a great way to find time.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

So Grimm is a romance novel about a woman who is kidnapped by a race of aliens that are dying out to basically be a breeder for them. And, as this is a romance novel, she falls in love with one of them. I am going to admit it, romance novels are one of my guilty pleasures and, as I love anything Sci-Fi or Fantasy, I love to read paranormal romances. This, however, was not one of my favorites. It’s not the worst book I ever read but it did have some serious problems.

  • All of the characters were very one dimensional. Now, I know this is a romance novel, I am not expecting major character development, but a little wouldn’t hurt.
  • The kids. The main female character has two daughters who, by the 3rd chapter have been taken from their home and see their recently widowed mother making out with a huge dude who is not human. And they are totally fine with it.

Now, I am the oldest of six kids with my siblings ranging from 23 to 7. I have over 30 cousins, at least half of whom are younger than me so I can say with complete authority… this is not how kids act. If we are going to have even slightly realistic children there should have been multiple code red level fits thrown, but nothing.  They aren’t even scared of the aliens that are everywhere!

  • Insta-love. I hate it when books do this, it kind of feels like a cop out. However, in other books I can normally deal with it. In this book it actually kind of offended me. She is kidnapped, nearly separated from her kids forever and taken to another planet but she tells the guy that she loves him within just a few days. I call bull shite. When I read the description for this book I thought I would be reading about two different cultures clashing and these two struggling to get over their differences (and her KIDNAPPING) to slowing fall in love with each other. That is not what happened.
  • Her speeches. The main girl in this book gives speeches… a lot. People don’t talk like that.

Well, now that I have torn this book apart I will tell you it wasn’t absolutely terrible as far as silly romance novels go. If you are bored and want a book where you don’t have to think and just want a happy ending, you could do worse than this book.

However, if you do choose to read it I would suggest getting it from audible. It is dually narrated where there is a male voice actor doing the male voices and a female voice actor doing the female ones. What really set it apart though were the sound effects. You can hear birds chirping when they are outside or you hear if a door knocks before the narrators tell you, pretty cool

What I really thought about during this book though was an article I read on Writer’s Digest once about a character’s “status.” This book had the critical flaw that the author could have avoided if she read that article. Neither of the main characters was ever in a situation where they had a lower status than anyone else. They were always the top dogs and, quite frankly, it made them kind of boring. It made me think about my characters and how their status needs to be high, but I still need to come up with scenarios where they are vulnerable. So I guess in that respect, I am glad I read this book.

If you would like to get it on Audible click here.

Self Published Review: Demon Eyes by Sarina Dorie

So this Sunday I will be reviewing, as you can probably tell by the title, Demon Eyes by Sarina Dorie. I want to tell you a bit about why I chose this book. I am a fan of a Kpop singer named Jay Park. He actually grew up in the area I live in but is now an entertainer in Korea. I like most of his songs, but there is one that always makes me laugh. It is called Demon, and it is in English.

I have often thought that one of the reasons I like Kpop is because I cannot understand what they are saying so the stupid and or ridiculous lyrics cannot bother me. This song supports that theory. The entire song is a bit silly talking about how he can’t let go of this girl and and how that somehow makes her a demon. But there is one line in particular:

“No wonder your eyes are red in every picture we take. You’re a demon, why you so evil to me?”

Yes, because clearly her having red eye is a sign that she is a demon. Except, in the story i just read… it really is. So, without further ado, here is my thoughts on this short story.

What did you like about the story?

I liked the randomness of it. I know that was a weird comment, so let me explain. Basically in this story a girl goes into a 24 hour store and picks up her graduation pictures and laments when she has red eye in them as this is apparently a recurring problem for her. The boy at the counter tells her that, clearly, this means she is a demon. See the random? But, it actually works for this. In a short story there is no room for slow buildup, you just gotta kinda put it out there right away and while this might not have been an elegant way to do this, it was entertaining.

What didn’t you like about the story?

There was a lot of explanations. This is a 2100 word story and we spend nearly half of it with the counter guy explaining things… it was a bit boring.

What did you learn?

I’m gonna be honest. I’m not really sure that I learned anything. But I was mildly entertained for a few minutes so I wouldn’t count it a total loss.

Would you recommend reading this book?

No, as I said in the above question I was only mildly entertained and the story is extremely short. However, she does have multiple books out, you can check out her profile on smashwords here, and I would not be opposed to reading a book of hers that was longer with the story more fleshed out.

If you would like to read this short story just click here!

Hello again!

All of this was written at 1:30am while on a sugar high so please bear with me, this could get a bit rambly.

Hello world, I am back in the blogging sphere! I just finished a webinar I bought from Writer’s Digest about how to be a more productive writer. As you can see from the dates of when my last post was and when I am posting this, I clearly need help in this department. Two of the quotes that were pointed out during this webinar really hit home for me. The first was said by Steven Pressfield, “Figure out what scares you the most, and do that first.”

For me, that is blogging. I have considered coming back to blogging over and over for the past nine months and I always just pushed it aside, and told myself I would do it later. But after listening to that webinar I asked myself, why? Why was I so afraid of blogging again? And I realized it was because of one of the most common fears anyone can have. The fear of being judged, and being found wanting. So, I have decided that I don’t give a shit anymore.

Some people might think it’s not that simple, but it really is. I simply refuse to let what I think others might have to say about my blogs influence what I do, or don’t, write. This brings me to my other quote by Joss Whedon, “If you don’t have to write, you shouldn’t be writing.”

The entire time I wasn’t blogging, I wasn’t really writing much, and it was killing me. I was depressed and frustrated with my life and I just couldn’t get out of that slump. I have all of these stories in my head just dying to get out, and I let doubt and fear get in the way.

Looking back to when I started this blog I have realized that I made one big mistake, I gave myself a time limit. I said that if within a year or two I wasn’t successful then I would go back to school. Well, screw that. I know, without a doubt, that writing is what I want to do with my life.

I have a day job that gets me by and I can pay the bills with. Why would I spend all of my extra time working on getting a degree I don’t care about for a job I tolerate, instead of using it for writing? I will stop writing the day I have nothing left to say and, as anyone who has met me can tell you, I will be on my death bed jabbering away.

I have also made one more decision. I am, mostly, done with blogging about Kpop. As much as I love it, it is not what I am focused on. I will, starting next Sunday, have one review of a self-published short story each week and I will make random posts of my thoughts. That isn’t to say that I will never blog about Kpop again. If something big happens I will probably talk about it. But I want my focus to be writing,

Peace out for now!

Kpop Sunday Special: Akdong Musician

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Akdong Musician is a new duo that just debuted with YG Entertainment and, in my opinion, is a sign of changes in the Korean music industry.  For the last decade or so flashy boy and girl bands singing pop music have dominated the scene. But recently more natural sounding music is being much more appreciated by the Korean public. Bands like Busker Busker and Urban Zakapa, along with Akdong Musician, are killing it on Korean music charts. Don’t get me wrong, established groups like 2NE1 and 2PM are still amazingly popular. But most newbie groups that are similar to them seem to be getting the beat down by Akdong Musician.

The duo consists of a sister, Lee Soo-Hyun, and brother, Lee Chan-Hyuk, who are 15 and 17 respectively. They were discovered on Kpop Star2, which is basically the Kpop version of The Voice. They were popular on the show for doing acoustic remixes of popular songs, and for a couple original ones as well.

What many found really amazing was that Chan-Hyuk, as young as he was, actually wrote and composed all of their original songs as well as composing the remixes. For the most part they were praised but one of the judges, Yang Hyun-Suk the CEO of YG, said he wasn’t sure if the way that Chan-Hyuk composed music would be very popular outside of the show.

I find this particular fact pretty funny considering a month after winning the show the siblings were signed to YG and Hyun-Suk let Chan-Hyuk write and compose their entire debut album. Papa YG was also proven wrong as the album achieved an “all kill” topping all the major music charts in Korea.

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I think the reason that these kids are so popular, other than their amazing natural talent, is that they are just so likable. Most Kpop idols seem very unapproachable, like you can only appreciate them from afar. And, to be fair, we do call them idols. But these two just seem to be normal, albeit funny and a bit wacky, kids who like to sing. They showed this to perfection with their MV for 200%. But they also have a more serious side as they showed with their single Melted.

What do you think of this type of music? Do you prefer it to pop or are neither to your taste?

F is for Failure

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So… basically the A-Z challenge kicked my butt. It took way more energy and time than I thought it would.  I know, silly me, it’s not called “challenge” for shits and giggles. So I took the last couple weeks off to distress myself, and now I am back! Don’t lie, I know you missed me.

One great thing that came out of that was I realized how much I love blogging about Kpop, and Korea in general. So I have decided to start a weekly segment called “Kpop Sunday Special.” Every week I will blog about what ever happened in the sphere of Kpop or Korean pop culture in general. If nothing really interesting happened I will just talk about something that has happened in the past that I feel like telling you about. But no matter what; it will be about something from Korea. My first edition will be out later today.

As for my writing: I laugh hysterically to myself when I look at my first post on this blog. Particularly at the part where I say I will write an entire book in 4 months. Clearly I am a comic genius. It is not going that smoothly at all. And recently I figured out why I was having such a hard time. I was trying to write the book from the wrong perspective.

It is a fantasy novel so my first thought was I should write it from the most kick-ass person in the cast. They are going to be at the center of all the action so in that aspect it kind of made sense. But then I realized that she was just too hard to relate to, I had fallen into the Superman conundrum. If she is this all powerful, awesome character, what real difficulties could she face? She the other girl that basically started out as her plucky side kick is now the main protagonist. She is so much more relatable and so much easier to write I am a little ashamed of myself for not figuring this out sooner.

R is for Running Man

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We don’t really have anything like Running Man here in the US, and I really wish we would! It is my absolute favorite Korean variety show, I have literally watched every single episode. The show has a cast of 7 celebrities and there is at least one guest nearly every week. The producers come up with a theme each week and have the cast play games or go through different challenges. Some only watch episodes with guest celebrities that they like but in my opinion the main cast is what really makes this show great. They have been working together for four years now and have great chemistry. Just watching them stand around and joke with each other often makes for my favorite part of the show.

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The leader of the show is Yoo Jae Suk, aka The Nation’s MC, and he is one of the most famous comedians in South Korea. This show was originally popular because it was his comeback after the last show he was on, Family Outing, ended. Yoo Jae Suk was originally poked fun at during the show for being one of the “weak players” because he and two others were often in competition for being the first ones eliminated. Later on, however, Yoo Jae Suk became one of the strongest players, giving himself the nickname Yooruce Willis. The only one he never really has a chance of beating in a straight on physical contest is the next cast member.

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Kim Jong Kook aka The Commander aka Sparta Kook. In case you can’t tell from his nicknames he is the physically strongest member of the show. Another of his nicknames is Coach Kook, he is such a perfectionist that no matter who is partered up with he will always nag and tell them how to do it better. Outside of the show however, he is actually a ballad singer. On the show they actually make fun of him for his “mosquito voice.” This guy is really big but his singing voice is really high pitched. Here is a link to his latest music video “All Men are Like That.” Side Note: The actor in the MV is Song Jong Ki, a former member of Running Man.

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Then, there is the Lee Kwang Soo aka the Giraffe akaFramer Kwang Soo aka Icon of Betrayal. During many games Kwang Soohas made alliances with different members or guests and as soon as it helps him he will throw them under the bus, or towards Kim Jong Kook so he can get away. None of the members trust him anymore but for some reason guests still do. What really surprised me is that Kwang Soo started his career as a model, it doesn’t fit his image on the show at all.

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But you can’t talk about Kwang Soo without talking about Ji Suk Jin, together they are known as the Easy Brothers. This is both because they are easy to take out but also because if you combine their last names (Lee and Ji) it sounds like easy. Suk Jin is the oldest member of Running man and is known as being the physically weakest. He plays along with this often challenging the women who come on the show if given the option, as they are the only ones he has any chance of beating. He is also known for betrayal, though not as much as Lee Kwang Soo.

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HaHa aka Haroro is the primary “funny man” of the cast. He is the one that jokes around the most and is picked on by the other members for his height and his similarities to a popular cartoon character, Pororo. Together Haha, Lee Kwang Soo and Ji Suk Jin make up the traitors club. While Lee Kwang Soo is best known for betrayal the other two do it whenever possible as well.Outside of the show Haha is a Reggae music singer, and seems to like to bring his comedy into his MVs.

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Kang Gary aka occasional Mr Capable is the sweet one of the show. He was never on a variety show before this and is known as the more naïve or gullible member. What I find fairly funny about that image is that he is the rapper of the duo Leessang and when doing that has more of a hardcore image. I didn’t know about his rapping until very recently and when watching him performing or during a music video I actually found it pretty hard to take seriously because of Running Man. He recently released his first solo mini album and with it an MV that is probably the most overtly sexual thing I have ever seen come out of Korea. But it is so overdone it seems more like a joke than anything else.

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I have saved the best for last! The only female member of the cast Song Ji Hyo aka the Ace aka my favorite member! Even though she is the only female Ji Hyo is considered one of the strongest competitors on the show. While quizzes are not her strong suit (another of her nicknames is blank Ji Hyo) when it comes to the games and physical contests she is amazing. She seems to have made a routine of embarrassing Haha and Ji Suk Jin by beating them, she even once beat Ji Suk Jin at wrestling. Her and Gary are also called the Monday Couple, because they are only a couple when they are filming on Mondays. They are actually the cutest thing ever and I totally wish they would date in real life! Outside of Running Man Ji Hyo is a very successful actress. She originally became famous by playing the other woman in the hit Drama Goong aka Princess Hours. She most recently has been in another drama called Emergency Couple.

If you would like to check out Running Man you can do so here.