Sunday, November 27, 2011

Object of Affection Or Unhealthy Obsession?

Last week my post was about bad boys in fiction and why we love them. I gave my two cents. Now I’d like to look at the flip side of the coin. Women fall over themselves for the bad boys in the fiction, often it’s a foregone conclusion that the women are a happy to be the object of their interest. We don’t stop and ask ourselves about the girls feelings.

A really important question to ponder, one that tends to get lost in wanting to see these men get what they want is; What does the girl they have their sites set on, want? Is their pursuit, their advances that at times can be pushy, overbearing even, appreciated? Are they simply winning her over or are they forcing their own will on her? Where is the line?

I have personally been on the receiving end of unwanted attention from a boy who would probably fall into the category of some of the men above. It wasn’t beautiful or pleasant even. It was frightening and still leaves me looking over my shoulder when I hear footsteps behind me in a parking lot.

Things did not end so well for the boy. For terrifying reasons, ones I’ll pray had nothing to do with me, he ended up behind bars. But if someone were to write our story, it would be easy to paint him in a sympathetic light. He had a terrible, frightening childhood filled with abuse. Enter me, one of the few people who was truly kind to him and you have a recipe for trouble.

His life was heartbreaking and I still feel a great measure of empathy for him. Maybe one day I’ll write a story in which his character gets the happy ending he deserves, but I deserve my happy ending also and though he never hurt me or forced himself on me or was even unkind, his tactic certainly left me uncomfortable and sometimes frightened. I’m not sure anything healthy could ever grow out of that.

My point in sharing this difficult part of my past is that I could write a story in which even I would probably root for this damaged, broken boy who only wanted to capture and hold onto the kindness he’d found in me. But though he never did hurt me physically, I am scarred be the experience, afraid my kindness will be taken wrong again and turned against me.

So, when I'm reading books packed with brooding, damaged men who are trying to ensnare the girl. For a moment, I’m going to try and put myself in her shoes and ask myself is this what she wants, even if his affections are true. Though I can’t promise not to fall for and root for the boy anyway. I guess that is the beauty of fiction, we can fall for the bad boy and no one ends up getting hurt.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bad boys of fiction.

Do you ever find yourself asking: Who is the hero in this book? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.


I recently finished reading The Iron King and it brought up a subject that I’ve spent much thought on. It comes up most often when I’m reading books about the Fey. I often find myself wondering who the actual hero is. And here’s confession time. More times than I should probably admit, I find myself rooting for the one who isn’t the hero.


Examples you ask? Paranormalcy for instance. I fell flat on my face for Reth! Don’t get me wrong, I do love Lend, and wouldn’t like to be in the position of having to actually choose between them. But Reth had me at hello, or whatever his first words were.


Then there are Melissa Marr's books. They throw my good and bad radar all asunder. I’m quite partial to Niall and Irial both, and they are not nice men by any stretch. But there is something about them that appeals to me, makes me ache for them. Maybe that is what it is. Their suffering, their loneliness and the near desperate devotion they show when someone comes along that lifts the loneliness, tugs at my sympathetic heart.


One book, Stolen, left me feeling so conflicted about what was right and wrong, and not sure I wanted the right thing to happen. Our captor was so human and beautiful and broken that I couldn’t help but want him to finally have everything he wanted, deserved even.


Is that the answer to the bad boy mystique? Women, young and old fall for the bad boys, because deep down we see their pain (or at least think we do) and want to ease it?


Many times, books where the hero and the villain are not always clear leave me asking myself questions with no easy answers. I find myself thinking about them for days after. In some cases, much, much longer.


What are your thoughts? Where does the appeal of the bad boy stem from?


(In future blog posts I’d like to explore some of the questions/thoughts/concerns this subject brings up. So share your thoughts and maybe they’ll prompt a post. Next week: What about what she wants?)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tbe Deep End of the Pool

This week I’ve stumbled across some amazing people who have inspired me by doing what they love, the thing that inspires them, pursuing their passion. It’s been such a boost to my inspiration level for a couple of reason that I wanted to share with you.

I want to be able to follow my passion but anyone who is a writer knows this is a long, rejection filled, hope and dream crushing industry. You have to have thick skin, be tenacious, resilient, and well, maybe you have to be a little crazy to have any success what-so-ever.

I’ve been watching Twitter friends and fellow writers either rise to the challenge or fall. Some taking the traditional route while others have gone the Indie route. Over the years I’ve formed close bonds with some of these writers and have rejoiced with them in their successes and commiserated with them when there are failures. I’ve also learned a lot and come to a decision in my own career based off their combined experiences.


I’ve made a choice that originally, in the beginning of my quest for publication was not the right choice for me. Over the two or three years since I’ve begun to see this writing and publication thing as a reality the landscape of publishing, the world of it really, has gone through a vast transformation. What was once considered almost a dirty word – Self publishing – previously thought of as something only considered by those “too lazy,” “untalented,” or just plain “unpublishable" is changing. Now it is something even traditionally published authors are looking at as a better, possibly more lucrative means to get their books in the hands of readers while retaining more rights and more of the royalties they richly deserve for their hard work.


So as times have changed, thinking has changed and I’ve changed along with it. I made the decision a few months back that I was going to dip my foot in the pool of Indie publishing. (What self published authors are calling themselves now. Sounds more professional and helps avoid the old stigma attached to the words self published.)


But I can’t say that I was 100% on board, I was still hemming and hawing, that is until a few things happened. My dog (my baby) had a stroke and in the time waiting for tests while he was at pet emergency I thought a lot about my financial situation. My computer got a virus that nearly rendered it a paperweight. I locked myself out of my house for the first time ever early in the morning and was late to work. And the blows just kept coming one after another and I felt like life was trying to bring me to my knees and it damn near succeeded.


On that first day, in a tearful mess, unsure how I’d driven to the pet hospital or back without killing us, I was given a small ray of light. It felt very much like a sign, in the form of an e-mail. A sign I didn’t heed. Maybe if I had accepted it that first day, things wouldn’t have gone so far downhill. But then sometimes I’m stubborn and I guess I needed to feel my knees scrape the ground before I could accept the hand being offered to help pull me up.

Sometimes, no matter our strength we can’t carry the burden alone. Those who know me or have read this blog know I believe in God. So, I prayed. I asked to know that what felt like signs were in fact that. That I was actually being given a message, not just seeing what I wanted. I didn’t have to wait long. The answer was loud and clear and sounded something like this: “Life is short and ‘waiting for the opportune time’ to follow your dreams is silly.”


I’m also a feet dragger, so I got another nudge, a much less painful one. Here is where I tie in the inspirational people I spoke of in the first paragraph. You thought I’d forgotten didn’t you? Or at least stumbled way off track? Ha Ha. It may have been rambly but I knew where I was going.


Below are the three artists who have inspired me. They are doing what they love, following the dream and making it without the help of “the man” or “the establishment” so to speak. They are finding success and supporting each other and that is truly inspiring!


Now it’s time for me to take the plunge!


So I found this guy who does amazing videos and posts them on Youtube. His Youtube name is DevinSuperTramp – you can find him here: http://www.youtube.com/user/devinsupertramp On Twitter: @devinsupertramp On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/devinsupertrampyoutube and he has a blog: http://devingraham.blogspot.com/


The videos are amazing but wouldn’t have had quite the same affect on me without the incredible music that accompanied them. The music touched on something deep within me and helped to convey the feeling of the video making it an experience and not just something I was viewing. I’ve since downloaded all of Stephen J. Anderson’s music from Amazon because I am not fond of itunes. But there are links to the music in all of his videos. But you can find him here: http://www.stephenjanderson.com/ and here for his music on Amazon


And of course on itunes but you’ll have to do your own search for that or just click on the link on DevinSuperTramp’s videos. My favorite song is Every Hour which has helped me stay focused enough this week to crank out nearly 10k of new, and dare I say shiny new words that I’m feeling really good about. So, thank you, Stephen! You inspire me in more ways than one.


And finally, one of the videos was of a girl named Lindsey Stirling. Or LindseyStomp on YouTube. She plays the violin and dances. (Electric violin, how cool is that???) I love almost anything violin or cello related but her music is insanely beautiful and she’s seriously talented. She uses her talent in such a unique way that I was hooked with that first video. I’ve since downloaded all of her music from her website under the store. http://www.lindseystirlingviolin.com/category/music-downloads/ or you can find her on itunes also. Her Youtbue channel is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/lindseystomp She’s also on Twitter: @LindseyStirling and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lindsey-Stirling/132255980139931


Here are some of my favorites from these three:


This is so cool!

The music is amazing but with this video it says so much - and the video is just awesome!

He loved this collection of time lapsed video so he composed a song for it. How cool is that?

And well this video is so awesome and break dancing is insane and so cool. Put it together with an EPIC song by Stephen J Anderson and you get sheer amazingness! (this is only about half of my favorite song by him)


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email: analaskangirl@gmail.com

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Children of the Gods Children of the Gods (Chosen, #1)
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Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story
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The Fall The Fall
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Darkhouse
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Rebellion
Blood and Feathers
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Forbidden Blood
Last Blood
Out for Blood
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Flesh and Blood
Blood Rights
Girl Parts


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