Tag Archives: rants

Hemlock Grove

What I’m about to write is definitely spoilery. I try to avoid this whenever possible, but there is no way around it this time. So if you have a desire to read the book or see the TV show and don’t want to know the details beforehand, stop reading now.

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In April, Netflix started advertising the release of this show Hemlock Grove. The cool thing about it being a Netflix original series is that they release all 13 episodes all at once so you don’t have to wait week to week for more shows. As someone who prefers to watch TV shows in a marathon style, this alone intrigued me enough to check it out. Also, the trailer sold it pretty well, too with this wicked werewolf transformation. SEE!

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So, obviously, I watched it. And I tore through all 13 episodes in two days because it was that good. The acting was stellar, it took place in this perfect fall, small town setting, and the characters were so strong I even shipped my first non-couple (Roman and Peter). Alongside this was a crazy plot that left you with more questions than answers with every episode that passed. You know there are werewolf gypsies, that much is clear, and characters being referred to as upir’s (which I didn’t know was some ancient Russian vampire, nor did they ever explore/clarify that), but those same characters were also referred to as dragons and angels. There’s also some sort of Frankenstein character who couldn’t speak, always had her hands wrapped up and glowed when her emotions were heightened, but you’re never told she’s a Frankenstein, I came up with this after some internet research. In the end, it isn’t clear really what most of these characters are supposed to be and it frustrated the hell out of me. In addition to the lack of answers, the last two episodes were full of so much action and detail that it was rushed far too fast for the viewer to take in. It was enough information to stretch across at least four episodes. After watching this obsessively, to say I was disappointed with the ending would be an understatement. Still, even with all the questions I have, I still LOVED this show.

And so I’m desperately praying for a second season and ordered the book it’s based on to read in the meantime in hopes that it’d resolve some of my questions from the show. Oh, boy, was this a mistake…

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For starters, I learned nothing more from the book whatsoever. In fact, they seemed to add some details in the TV show that the book failed to include. And the book’s ending was just as fast paced and confusing as the TV show. I can appreciate the fact that the TV show and the book’s dialogue was almost word for word, but otherwise, the book fell so flat I literally fell asleep every time I sat down to read it, making it take far longer to finish than a book it’s size should.

I hate to criticize grammatical errors in books because Lord knows I make a disturbing amount myself in my own writing, but seriously there were so many run-on sentences, so many instances where a comma was desperately needed, and then there were moments when the author seemed to forget they were writing in third person and like a pop up video interjected their own voice in first person with an opinion of the story or some footnote us readers should know without making it clear they were doing that. Hello, distraction. In addition to these annoying technicalities, the writing was stiff. It was like listening to someone with a monotone voice ramble on with big words that impress no one, about a topic the average person has no understanding of or interest in… eventually you just stop paying attention and this is why I fell asleep so often. I know that the things I loved about the show were present in the book, but they weren’t appealing the way they were in the show – it was a lot of ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’ and that’s just not the kind of writing I’m into. Maybe I’m being too critical of the book because I loved the show so much, but I can’t see myself even wanting to see the show had I read the book first.

Anyway, I just don’t know how to feel about the whole thing now. I have yet to find any evidence of a planned continuation for this story whether it be by book or show and so I’m not sure if I’ll just forever be left with these questions or not and it frustrates me. Any of you see this show or read this book? Care to weigh in with your thoughts?

When life gives you lemons…

I keep meaning to blog, but for one reason or another, life hasn’t permitted it. I had blog posts planned in my head, but now that they’re hardly relevant, I’ve decided to just do a short recapping of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.

My birthday was last Monday. As I suspected last year, it was far less exciting than it’s been in the past, which as a person who loves birthdays, disappointed me. While I think this was partly because I’m not thrilled about getting older, it was also because that weekend all sorts of sad/bad things happened in my family.

My grandmother’s sister died unexpectedly, my own sister had a pregnancy scare and spent time at the hospital, and some drunken punk was dead set on giving my father a heart attack by harassing him daily (he even went as far as physical property damage).

I had taken a long weekend to “celebrate” my birthday, which really only consisted of reading a lot of books and going out to dinner because my life is so riveting (duh). While I did make it to dinner, reading books didn’t happen because my mind was too consumed with all the woe going on in my family. So, my house is extra clean now and I baked my first apple pie because these are the kinds of things I do when I’m stressed/sad. Such a lovely way to spend your birthday, right?

It wasn’t all bad, though. My friends and family lavished me with lovely cards and gifts, small tokens of love that I appreciated greatly. And dinner was chaotic as always, but in a way I love because despite the rough time my family was going through, they are always entertaining when we’re all together. Really, I can’t complain.

And yet that’s not true as I shift into my next topic: Photography. I’m pretty sure I’m finished *trying* to be a photographer as a side thing. I will still take pictures because it’s what I’ve always done and I will still try to perfect the craft because I want to grow as an artist, but I’m finished with offering my services outside of my family. I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me or commented how good of a photographer I am and how they’d love for me to shoot their family or kids, etc… and even though it’s incredibly hard for me to have enough faith in myself to agree, I do. I even offer to do it for free as I build my portfolio, but every single one of these people (EVERY ONE OF THEM) has gone off to have professional photos done instead for a hefty price. I’m tired of extending myself like this. It’s almost as if they’re mocking me when those professional photos pop up online. It’s not that I think I could do better, in fact I bet I couldn’t, but I’m tired of people baiting me into something I’m already scared of doing just for the sake of saying something. NO ONE TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD TO COMPLIMENT MY HOBBY, PEOPLE. If you’re not sincere, please just say nothing at all! I can’t continue to be led on this way. So, I might just remove the update altogether from my monthly reviews. If there are really great pictures I feel are worth mentioning, maybe they’ll get their own posts if you guys care to see them. In the meantime, I will shrink back into the introverted photographer I’ve always been and just be happy with my pictures because I like doing it, not because I’m trying to be something more than I am.

I should stop now, but I have more to complain about. It’s no secret I’ve been struggling with this weight loss thing lately. Since October it’s been one sugar sponsored holiday after another and I fell weak to it all with the best of them. I’m relieved the holidays are over with. I truly want a break from refined sugar, but my mind and tongue are not on the same page about this yet and so I find myself scathing the grocery store for obscure things like Berger cookies as if I actually need them. I know that if I just avoided them altogether, I’d be making this easier on myself, but instead I get this ridiculous idea that I can limit myself to one a day because that’s not all that bad, when in reality I know they won’t even last 4 days.

I hate that I know what needs to be done, I’ve done it before and it’s not all that hard, and yet my willpower is crap and I enable its inability to stand strong. In other words, I’m an idiot and I know it and yet I continue to be one. Obviously, I’m a genius.

So at this point, I’ve almost crept back up to my highest weight ever, making all my effort last year a total loss. It disappoints me in ways you can’t imagine if you’ve never struggled with weight. I cleaned and prepped a week’s worth of healthy food this weekend to get myself back on track with this healthy lifestyle I’ve been trying to achieve. I also finally treated myself to new running shoes. I currently have none that fit; it’s been at least 8 years since I’ve bought a pair (I’m more of a “coat/jacket girl” than a “shoe girl”). It’s been equally as long since I really ran, but I used to love it and I need some cardio in my life so I’m determined to get back into it whenever the shoes show up in the mail. Hopefully these are the things I needed to turn my goals around in the right direction. I do have to say that for as much as I hate the warmer weather, it does register something in my body that says, “You are too fat for this heat, Sarah, get busy!” And so I’m listening, or trying to at least.

My apologies for so much negativity, but I’ve had a lot brewing in my head and it’s been sort of therapeutic just typing it. I promise you a happier post sometime this week, but until then… anybody got anything they’d like to get off their chests, too? Rant away.

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Anonymous Success

Lately my parents have been saying things in regards to my creative side and dreams that leave me confused and a bit sad.

First, there was all this push for self-publishing, which I have no intentions of doing (because we all know how unsuccessful that can be). I want to believe my work is good enough to actually be published by a real publishing house, not just fall back after a few queries and self-publish because I think I know I’m good enough. I have no interest in self-publishing. Period.

Then, around Christmas, when briefly explaining my old book to my father he cut me off to ask why I wasn’t using a penname. The question struck me odd because why would I? I mean I’ve even already had conversations with my fiancé about the fact that if I’m published after we’re married, that I will still use my maiden name (Whisted) instead of my married name (Harris) because 1. Whisted is a lot more unusual than Harris and 2. It’s the end of the line for the Whisted name in our family. There are no boys to carry it on. I would have thought it’d make my family proud to see the Whisted name on a bookshelf.

Last weekend both of my parents approached me about ghost writing and how they’d read that it’s one of the best jobs for older people, bringing in an income around 200K a year to write books for others, without your name being attached. They seemed to love this idea, saying that who cares if you don’t get credit for it, 200K a year is worth it. All I kept thinking was: when did this dream career hold any monetary value? It’s not about the money it will bring in. Sure, I’d love to make enough to work from home and write books for the rest of my life, but if I can’t that doesn’t automatically persuade me to just give up the dream. It’s not about making it rich. When was it ever?

And then yesterday, after having another really successful photo shoot with my nephew on Monday, I asked my parents if they’d seen the pictures. First my father said that I have all these creative abilities that I hardly take advantage of (I’m sure the piano is included in that, as if I have an option to still play when I currently don’t have a piano). When I corrected him and said that I’ve actually been studying photography lately to improve my skills and actually giving thought to taking pictures of people other than my family since I’m getting so much better he said, “That's good,” but then followed it up with, “But it’d be better if you posted these pictures anonymously. You shouldn’t need to be credited for this.” What?!  Then the same comment was thrown at me in regards to my book. He wondered why I couldn’t just be satisfied with only my family enjoying it (which is just baffling in itself since none of them read my work). It really feels like they’re trying to talk me out of my dreams or something.

I am so confused right now. I’m trying to tell myself that there’s not some deeper meaning to this sudden push for anonymity in regards to my creativity, but honestly all it feels like is that my family will be ashamed having a tie to my name if/when I make it out in the world.

What does that say about me and the talents I think I have?

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I call her “Candi”

Remember last week when I was all “Woe Is Me” blah, blah, blah? Well, I wouldn’t say I’m completely in a better place, but some of my complaints have been resolved which already makes this week better than last.

Since the number one issue was regarding concerts and that complaint will never be resolved we’ll just skip it altogether and start with my number two complaint: The dying machine known as my old truck. “Old” now because….

I Got a New One! *SQUEE*

It’s a 2009 Ford Escape and the color is called Sangria, but it looks more like a shimmery candy apple in person so I’ve named her “Candi.” I have to admit for as troubled as I was over having to get a new vehicle at all and how stressed having an additional car payment will make me, I’m rather in-love with her. I can’t believe she’s actually mine, all shiny and new and perfect!

Speaking of… Candi (though this time a character with this name from Candi Comics by Starlight X Hodge) sort of helped me read again. Maybe not entirely, but I did read the entire webcomic last week from start to current (years’ worth of art and fun) alongside two other real books. I had started reading Bloodborn (Other, Book 2) by Karen Kincy a while ago and was finally able to finish that. Then I started and finished reading After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven Wedel. My thoughts on both of these books can be read on my Goodreads page. I’m currently reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. So I guess my “I don’t read anymore” mentality is over. YAY!

And lastly, writing… the thought that never leaves my brain. I’m not saying I’ve suddenly produced something magnificent (because I definitely haven’t), but I have realized something that was brought to my attention last year by a friend and I pretended couldn’t be true. If this year has proven anything, it’s that they were right. I am a seasonal writer. Meaning, I might produce something here and there during summer or spring, but I get the writing bug in fall and winter and this is when I’m most apt to complete something of value. Shoot, just even writing blogs is easier during these months. I have no idea why, so don’t bother asking, but after some evaluation of the facts, I’m pretty positive this is the case. So with that being said, I’m giving a lot of thought to NanoWrimo this year. I’ve never participated before, but maybe it’d be the perfect thing for me to officially launch myself back into writing for the season I write the best in. I have plenty of potential story ideas to use… now just to pick which one feels like I might be able to pump out 50K words for it in 30 days…. Hmmmm.

Until Next Time – Sarah

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In Which I Bitch…

A lot of things have been getting on my nerves. So much so that I feel I may burst if I don’t voice them aloud in some way. Since no one reads this journal anyway, voicing my angst here seems like the best solution. Here I go…

1. I love music. It is as important to me as breathing. Anyone that knows me must know at least this one thing about me. And yet, I cannot get one freaking person to accompany me to a concert. Not one! And it doesn’t even matter who the artist is at this point. No one’s willing regardless. The only people who might be interested or at least act interested in going live out of state. How is it possible that I know no one within a reasonable distance that wants to go to a concert with me? Even if they don’t love the music, is the idea of attending something with me really all that appalling? Am I honestly that pathetic? I will be missing both the Arctic Monkeys concert and Dance Gavin Dance concerts coming up and I’m not sure whether to be pissed, upset, or both.

2. My truck died. Okay, well it’s not entirely dead, but driving it anymore is putting my own life at risk for the brakes only stop now whenever they choose to (which isn’t often). This makes driving scary as hell. The item causing this issue costs on the upward of $500 bucks and while that could be a manageable repair cost, it is not the only malfunction my truck is currently experiencing. I suppose with it being 10 years old now and being minimally maintained over the years, I shouldn’t expect so much of it, but I’m not ready to buy a new vehicle! I’m not prepared for an additional bill every month. I barely get by as it is. It also doesn’t help that I have a serious aversion to change, of any sort. I mean ideally, I’d LOVE a new vehicle – something shiny and pretty and more modern, but knowing I have to is making me freak out. Mom is currently letting me driver her truck, but I imagine this new vehicle purchase will be happening within the week. I’m just praying it happens with ease.

3. I haven’t written in…? It was so long ago I don’t even know when now. It might be an easier pill to swallow if new ideas were still bombarding me or if my characters were still up there toying around with new story lines, but it’s all gone. I’ve had very minimal creative activity occur lately and it’s making me feel insane. Of the moments I’ve actually had time to write I sat there with a pencil and paper and a blank page continued to stare back at me. Randomly strange lines from sporadic stories will pop into my head, but nothing of substance or that even fits in a particular place. I’m attempting to write a Halloween Short Story like I did last year, but who knows if that will even happen. It’s a story I’ve known for years, one that used to be a script so it shouldn’t be all that hard, but there is seriously some sort of disconnect from my brain to my fingers these days. It’s an awful feeling with every day that passes thinking: Maybe I’m not a writer after all.

4. I don’t read books anymore. Or at least I haven’t in months now. And it’s not that there aren’t books in my possession that I really want to read because there are (so many of them), I just feel zero drive for it. Like focusing enough to make it past a few pages and retaining what I’ve read feels like an impossible feat. Sigh. What is happening to me?

Okay, I could go on, but I’m getting annoyed by my own rant so if there is actually anyone reading this you’re definitely done hearing me bitch.

Peace – Sarah

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Blockage

It’s getting beyond frustrating at this point.

First, they just weren’t there. Or if they were, they were whispering so low I couldn’t hear them. I suspect they were off gallivanting around though, having a good old time without me.

Then, they finally show back up after much begging and pleading on my part, but they overload me with all that I’ve missed in their absence. Just rude, guys.

And now, they laugh. Watching and waiting for me to be able to bring their stories to life. But there’s something wrong with connection between my brain and my fingers. I don’t understand it, but I can’t make it happen.

I’m tired of staring at a blank document.

I’m tired of reading old work hoping it needs editing.

I’m tired of not writing.

GAH!

Frustrated, Sarah

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