Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Thinky thoughts

I sat down yesterday to answer my fanfic reviews, as I always do. And one just totally derailed me.
It was a bit garbled, but I asked kid 3 to read it and check if I was misinterpreting it.
The reviewer berated me for not adding another single word to the completed one shot they were reviewing. They suggested that other authors gave me enough of an idea to write a one shot; an idea that those authors then didn’t write for fear of being accused of plagiarism.
They suggested that I had lost the trust of authors who no longer used me as a sounding board and that was why I no longer wrote anything. They accused me of having no ideas of my own.
And they finished with ‘just a thought’ which will usually enrage me. [what is it about that phrase that is such a trigger?]
It took me ages to craft a response. I wasn’t rude, or abusive.
But looking at their message again today, they meant to be that rude. They say they are a fan of mine, but I really doubt it. And I don’t need fans like that.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Crimson Peak is Bluebeard

I’ve been trying to rewrite Bluebeard for years. I tentatively titled my work in progress ‘Bluebeard’s last wife’. It was my Nanowrimo project back in 2013.
I have read every version of the fairy tale I could find: the original, the Anatole France one, Caroline Wesson’s play, Henry Curwen’s Lady Bluebeard, and Bluebeard's Keys by Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie, and more. I was annoyed by the moral of the story; a wife’s curiosity is enough to cause her death. It grated at my feminist principles.
I recently read Angela Carter’s two versions and that nearly derailed me but I wanted the last wife to save herself, and in no version I found does she do that. In most she hides on the roof and screams for help. Her brothers kill him, or her mother does, or he lets her off and goes into a monastery.
I wanted her to realise she loved him but know that he was still a monster and if she didn’t kill him first, she would be the next victim.
I saw Crimson Peak in 2015 and loved it. I bought a Funko Edith. She is my desk figurine as she was the only Funko writer I could find. [Fix that, Funko. Also spoilers for the movie, obviously.]
This morning I was doing some Bluebeard freewrites. I was riffing on moving it to a different time period. Carters’ is 20th century Paris, Ritchie’s 19th century Rome, mine was medieval. Could I move it to a Gothic house and meld it with my love of Gothic Romances? I thought about getting him to beg her for forgiveness. I thought about him realising what he has become and asking her to end his life.
Wait… this seems familiar.
Del Toro’s Crimson Peak is Bluebeard.
Sir Thomas Sharpe has multiple wives. He married them for their money and doesn’t love them. He ignored them and did not have sex with them. It is his sister who kills them but he is aware of their fate. Their bodies are buried in or near the scary house. [So maybe it’s Bluebeard plus Flowers in the Attic?]
But his last wife is different. He genuinely falls in love with Edith. He loves her and she saves herself, killing him AND his sister in the process, and bringing peace and eternal rest to the ghosts of the dead wives. The ghosts she sees weren’t haunting her, they were trying to warn her. The ghosts were not the real monsters. This is a common Del Toro theme.
She stabs him with a pen which is the most awesome weapon of choice for a writer and it’s a gift from her father so that ticks the retribution box.
She loves him and she kills him, anyway.
Crimson is even red; the opposite of blue. HOW did I miss it? *face palms*
And it’s so well done. I can’t compete with that.
I have to trunk another project.
Sighs heavily.
*thinks for a day or so while the Internet is down*
Or maybe, I can just leave it medieval and hope nobody notices? Yeah, that might work.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Tracking your Reading with a Spreadsheet

I do love a good stats sheet
I was reading Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and they had a 2019 update for a spreadsheet to track your reading. Now I use Goodreads to record my reviews and keep track of stuff I own or want to read. I also keep my reviews in a Scrivener file I recently amended to include meta-data for male or female authors but it doesn’t have the extras that this one does. So, I downloaded it and gave it a go.
After a month’s worth of entries I have a better idea of whether it will work.
Specifically, I wanted to record diverse authors and book characters; this sheet has it in a pie chart. *squees*
Look at that, isn’t it pretty?

I have assumed that having goblins and giants in your story doesn’t technically count as ‘diverse’ characters. I mean if they are goblins of colour [wait… what colour are goblins? never mind…] If they are gay or queer or trans then I count them. And they have to be more than just a token character. That’s how I intend to use it, your usage may differ.
Download it at the link below if you are interested.
Happy reading.