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.

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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!

My Bed is Evil!!

I’m only kind of kidding…. It may have evil procrastination powers.

What I am really trying to say here is I have come to the decision that I need to get myself a real desk. What I have right now is an underused table covered in crap I threw on it and forgot with a kitchen chair. Even when I was first organizing my room I was wondering why I was putting a desk in my there, I knew I wasn’t going to use it… look at it!

2014-01-29 12.26.03

Clearly not at all usable and, as I was saying earlier, my bed is evil. Whenever I lay down on my bed intending to work I mysteriously end up on YouTube or DramaFever and 3 hours have passed without me writing a single word. But recently I showed up at a coffee shop early to meet my writing critique group, more on that later. By the time the meeting started an hour later I had finished an amazing 3 pages! They will probably have to be heavily edited but they were still there on the screen and not in my head!

So I have decided that I need to actually clean off my desk and get a chair in front of it that I can stand to sit in for more than five minutes at a time. Until then I may become a near permanent feature at the Denny’s closest to my house.

Does anyone know where to buy a cheap yet comfortable office char? The unpublished author is broke…

Why am I doing this?

My final decision to put off school and focus on finishing my first novel happened because of a patch of ice. It wasn’t even a very large patch of ice.

About a month ago I was walking out of H-mart with a couple (yes a couple, don’t judge me) boxes of ramyun. For white people who don’t eat spicy food that is super spicy and super delicious ramen. Because I am eternally clumsy I managed to find the only part of the parking lot with frozen water, fell, and broke my leg. At first, all I could think was … OWWWWWW. I got to the hospital, they gave me pain killers and set my leg and I had to wait around for the doctor to say it was okay for me to go home. This took a very long time and I had time think past the immediate future. I was not a happy camper. I was going to have to put off school, again.

For those of you who don’t know, I am 23 years old, and I don’t have my college degree. I went to college right out of high school but couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. First, I was going to be an editor. I love books, getting to read all day seemed like a great job! I went to school for a year and I was doing really well! Then reality set in and I found out that reading all day was not actually the job. Also, to be honest, I suck at spelling and I am even worse with grammar. Spell check and I are like this. *insert crossed fingers*

My next brilliant idea was to be a nurse. One of my favorite people in the world is a nurse! After a year of truly painful schooling reality again reared its ugly head and I remembered that I suck at science and don’t deal well with bodily fluids. I mean seriously, can you imagine a nurse that pukes every time the patient does? That is the exact opposite of helpful.

After this I decided that I was getting too old, at the advanced age of 20, and I needed to be practical. So I decided to be an accountant. People always need an accountant right? This was the shortest lived of my aspirations as I soon realized that I do not hate myself that much. I gave up and realized I had no clue what I wanted to go to school for. So I told myself I would take a year off to “find myself” and I would come back to school refreshed and ready to graduate. Let’s be honest though, I really just wanted to get away from homework.

Around the time of the aforementioned accident I had finally settled on a career, settled being the key word. I knew I was getting older and I was getting worried about not having my degree yet. So I decided I was going to get my bachelor’s degree and be a foreign English teacher in South Korea. I love South Korean pop culture, probably to an unhealthy and slightly obsessive degree. Also, I truly like kids, they are adorable and some of the weirdest people you will meet. So I decided I would combine my want to travel and my love of kids and get myself a fairly stable career.

This is where my accident comes in. As I was sitting in that emergency bed I realized why I could never really decide what I wanted to do. Why I had settled for something I thought sounded interesting but I knew would drive me crazy, and not the funny crazy I am now, within a few years. I wasn’t lying before. I do like kids and Korean pop culture, but I didn’t really want to base my entire life on it.

The truth is I have always known what I want to do. Writing. I have been coming up with stories and trying to write them down since I was in high school and I have been an avid reader for much longer than that. In 6th grade they literally gave me an award because I read so much. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

The reason I never really took my writing seriously is because I know how risky it is. I know that it is very likely that I will never make a cent as an Author. There is no guarantee anyone will ever read this blog, much less a whole novel. And with the publishing world the way it is right now it is nearly impossible to get a publishing deal, even if you have a great book. This leaves the even less safe and more frightening world of self-publishing.

So I was practical, I shoved my stories to the back of my mind, pushing it to that far-away “someday.” When I was done with school and I didn’t have to work so much.  When I was financially stable and could take a month or two off and work on it. Sitting in that emergency room bed I realized that this “someday” was never going to be now. With my injury I knew that I would have to put school off until at least the fall. Because of that I would probably not be done with school until I was 28. Then I would be in another country, trying to learn my new job and learn the language and it would go on and on like this, pushing my dream off until “someday.” Before I knew it I would be 30 and I would still have never written a single book.

To some people 30 may not seem all that old. But believe you me; it scares the crap out of a 23 year old. So until the end of 2015 I am going to focus on my writing, and I will have my first novel done before I am 24, in 5 months. I am making this blog to keep myself accountable, to document my experience of writing a novel. If I try to use real humans to keep me on track I will talk their ear off about my book so much that they are sick of it before I even finish my first draft. With this blog I have a way to vent and anyone who chooses to listen can also choose to click away from the page and make me shut up. 

In a couple years I may be back to school, being responsible and figuring out a career that would actually make me money. I may try this out and realize I love reading and the idea of writing a book but I absolutely hate doing it. Maybe I will love writing but I will show it to people and find out that my writing bites. But when I am that terrifying age of 30 I don’t want to still be thinking “someday” or have given up my dream completely. I want to be able to look back and at least say that I tried.