Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quicksand - Part 23 (Language not safe for work or children)

Fucking run. It wasn't the the most eloquently-expressed thought, but it gave her the push she needed to keep going – through the pins and needles pain in her feet, through the persistent burning in the centre of her chest. And it did have the benefit of being the loudest thought in the cacophony of her inner dialogue. Louder, even, than the one that had chimed in fairly recently, saying, But you know him from somewhere. “I do, don't I?” she breathed, as she leaned against a brick wall to rest. A small part of her thought that she must have completely lost it, if she was talking to herself now, on top of everything else. But it was true, there was something familiar, something almost friendly about the... thing. Maybe—the thought was abruptly cut off by a louder one: Maybe? Maybe you should run. But run from what? Because there was no way that that thing could exist. And if it could exist, if he could exist, he was awfully familiar, she definitely knew—It doesn't matter if you know him, said the panicked voice of reason. It's a fucking giant half-fucking-rabbit. Run away.

And so, Sally ran.


 If you enjoyed reading this, stop by next week for another instalment. You may also like my published novel, Aigaion Girl ... a story of the end of days, available here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

50 Shades of Wretch

So, today at the day job, I read an article (which seems to have since disappeared - will link when I find it) by the "author" of Jane Eye Laid Bare, Eve Sinclair*, defending the book and her choices in writing it.

A lot of the article had to do with eroticism and how 50 Shades of Grey is liberating for women, and people shouldn't be ashamed to read erotic books and eroticism is different from porn, etc, etc. - and for the first half of the article, I could kind of see what she was saying.  I have zero problem with people reading whatever they want  and even though the snippets of 50 Shades I've come across are enough to make me want to stick a fish fork up my nose and wiggle it rigorously to erase all traces of the prose from my brain, my attitude tends to be, just because I find something distasteful doesn't mean other people ought not to enjoy it. I agree with her about the porn**, I have no issue at all with porn, be it on paper or film.

In (roughly) the second half of the article, Sinclair defends her reasons for essentially hijacking a classic novel for her own gain.  Except, her reasons are ridiculous.  Firstly, that Jane Eyre is already a pretty erotic novel.  Well, yes.  So why the need to wave the this part is sexy banner?  Why would you want to take something subtle and replace it with something in-your-face?  That's something like taking a perfectly seasoned turkey and then coating it in a thick paste of ground thyme because, well, everyone likes thyme and anyway, it already had some thyme and that tasted really good.  This concept of sticking porn into classic novels has to be the best argument for leave well enough alone I've ever heard.

The other main reason she gives for her book is that no one had a problem with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - and I agree that anyone who was OK with that should be OK with this.  I had a huge problem with it.  Just to be clear, I didn't read it.  Possibly the zombie scenes were perfectly integrated and the changes and additions were as brilliantly written as the rest.  I kind of doubt it, but that's not the point.  Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favourite book.  I have read it either 12.5 or 13.5 times (it does get a bit difficult to keep track) and even though it sounds cliched, every time I read it, I find something new, some new meaning that has previously escaped me, some facet of one of the mains' characters that suddenly makes everything clearer.  To add to it is to destroy it.  Since I'm on a roll with the similes, let's throw in a metaphor. Say you have something perfect and wonderful, an extremely elegant, perfectly cut, expensive designer gown - and  let's say you also have something popular and kind of cool, some interesting buttons from an old woolly sweater... THERE IS NO REASON TO COMBINE THESE THINGS - but the horrendous hipster gown of doom effect is not really my problem with P&P&Z or with JELB.  My problem isn't even with the insane amount of hubris someone would need to read the originals and think Meh, I could do better.  My problem is that hubris combined with riding the coattails of an excellent author who is dead and can't defend themselves.  Seriously, try that shit with an author who's still alive, why don't you?  Or, better yet, make up your own universe, throw in some of your own characters, and see where that takes you.

*Is this supposed to sound like some sort of twisted nursery rhyme?
**Sinclair calls it eroticism.  I say naked people engaged in sex acts = porn, but that's just semantics.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quicksand - Part 22

They had never talked about what happened in the warehouse. Craven had offered a weak So...? at the time, which Minty had silently declined. They had walked together a long time and, eventually, Craven Lorne had found some glue and put Minty back together.

Craven had assumed they would go their separate ways once Minty was fixed, but it wasn't so. When he'd suggested it, Minty had simply said, No, Craven Lorne in her creepy, hollow voice and that had been the end of the discussion. Craven was surprised to find that he was glad. He realized sometime later that she had spared him the indignity of asking her to stay with him; as time had passed, he'd found himself distressingly fond of her company.

Craven Lorne hadn't gone back to raiding. He had stopped using Dust altogether. It would be nice to think that he'd learned his lesson, turned a moral corner; he thought maybe he had. But the real reason—or the vast majority of the real reason—was that he didn't want to end up a stain on some other warehouse floor. And while Minty's arm was mended, he knew her well enough now to know she'd snap her hand off at the wrist if she thought it was necessary – and he knew he'd never know her well enough to know what she might consider necessary.

They walked together now, hand in hand, his dewclaw passing gently back and forth over the tiny raised cracks along the side of her index finger. They were in the field. Their field. The field where he first saw her. The field where he always saw her.

The tree was a ways in the distance, casting a tiny circle of calm, cool shade. Craven thought about sitting there with Voss. He wondered, not for the first time, what would have happened if he'd said something to Voss sooner, before Minty had stopped and smiled at him. Would they have been together? Would Voss have avoided the injuries that made him a monster? Even if Voss had refused him, surely Minty would have avoided Craven's wrath, his misguided blame would have at least landed somewhere else.

Minty followed his gaze to the tree, and, in her worrying way, looked like she knew what he was thinking. She had never told him about the rape. She couldn't find it in her to destroy the very little that was left of Voss in Craven's heart. She would, one day, when she'd figured out how. She stepped closer to Craven, pushing the cool porcelain of her arm against his white cotton shirt.

They stood for a long time, staring at the tree, each lost in their own thoughts.

“That day,” Minty said, in her weird, echoing voice. He knew exactly which day she meant. “That day I smiled. Craven Lorne, I smiled at you.”

This brings us to the end of Part I of III; the next draft will see pieces from all three parts together, giving it an even less linear feel, but for now, we say goodbye to Craven and Minty.  Next week we meet Sally and Daisy Chain.  

 If you enjoyed reading this, stop by next week for another instalment. You may also like my published novel, Aigaion Girl ... a story of the end of days, available here.