Monthly Archives: January 2012

I Hate You Wheel Of Time

In college I had a part time job as a security guard, which meant hours upon hours of sitting around not doing a single thing.  My boss at the time suggested I check out Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time series.  I wasn’t, and am still not, a huge fan of the fantasy genre but since my boss and a few of the people I worked with were reading the series I decided to give it a try.  About half way through the first book I was hooked and it felt like the first time I had discovered the combination of peanut butter and jelly, but to keep with a horrible analogy by book six I suddenly became allergic to peanut butter.

I believe Wheel Of Time suffered from something I like to call, “Holy Shit These People Really Like My Series And I Am Making A Lot Of Money, But I Only Planned For This To Be About Four Books Long, So I Guess I Better Spread The Story Along So I Can Make A Bunch More Books -itis“.  The first3-4 books were great and seemed to come to a logical conclusion until suddenly the big evil turned out NOT to be the big evil because there was a bigger evil!

With each story more characters were introduced and for some reason we had to follow their storylines until you could go through an entire book and realize that the “main character” had only accomplished the equivalent of finishing his morning coffee and then the story was over.

Also the author Robert Jordan LOVED his descriptions.  So much so that pages would go by where the only thing the reader was doing is reading the description of the room and what everyone was wearing.

Robert Jordan unfortunately died before he could finish the Wheel Of Time series but I was told that someone is finishing for him.  I cannot say for certain because I jumped off the Wheel Of Time train a long time ago.

I can understand if it seems as if I am being mean and hateful, because I am.  I felt like this series had a ton of promise and could have been something great, but that greatness careened off a cliff never to be seen again.  I use this series as a prime example of knowing the story you want to tell and doing it in a timely manner.  Not doing so can take a great story and turn it into crap, and then pouring that crap onto the heads of your dedicated fans.

Bitching and complaining over……………for now

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3 Midgets Of Varying Height Walk Into A Bar…..

and sit down to order their drinks.  The bartender approaches the tallest midget, “What’ll ya have?”

“I’ll have a vodka tonic.”

The bartender turns to the middle-sized midget.

“I’ll have a rum and coke.”

The bartender then turns to the smallest midget.

“I’ll have a mojito.”

The tallest midget spins around on his bar stool and gives the smallest midget a questioning look.

“What? I enjoy the smooth and fruity taste of a mojito.”

The tallest midget pauses for a second than nods his head, “That is understandable, I no longer believe that is an odd choice.”

The middle-sized midget also nods his head in agreement, “Same here I understand your choice and no longer disagree with it.”

The midgets finish their drinks and head home.  The End.

Unsatisfying isn’t it?  I just finished a book that left me with that same feeling.  It had a premise that caught my attention & interesting characters that I wanted to follow, but I followed them for several miles & realized they weren’t really going anywhere.  When I finished the book I realized all that potential had been squandered and I had wasted a week’s worth of reading.

Now I’m not going to say what the book was because it is quite possible someone else might like it and I don’t want to turn anyone away.  Yet I think it just reiterates how hard it is to write a quality novel.  It’s not enough to have a great idea if you’re incapable of translating it from your mind to the paper.  Having great characters doesn’t do your story any good if they don’t have anything to do.  And just as importantly you have to know when to end your story and how to get to that ending at just the right time.

There is a reason why only a handful of people who put pin to paper end up being successful writers.

This post was originally published on The Dark Globe blog.  I contribute there along with a lot of other great writers, so if you get a chance check it out!

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Intervention Makes Me Question Daddyhood

There is a show on TV called Intervention.  For those who don’t know it basically consists of following around a person who is addicted to something, learning how they got that way, and then attempting to get them into treatment by the end of the show.  It’s one of those shows that can be both heartwarming and disturbing at  the same time.  I used to enjoy watching this show but since my wife and I are expecting our first child shortly, I can’t bring myself to watch another episode.

One of the interesting aspects of the show is learning how the person got to this horrible point in their life.  The reasons can vary greatly but almost all of them share one common trait, a horrible childhood.  Whether it be a parent that doesn’t love them enough(or too much), parents divorcing, feeling like they cannot get their parents approval, etc, etc.  Now when I watch the show all I can see are lists of things I need to either do or not do in order to prevent my child from ending up like this.  It went from an interesting drama to a horror show in just a couple of months.

So now I find myself examining my childhood to see what it was my parents did that allowed me to come out somewhat normal.  I didn’t have a “perfect” childhood (who does?) but I had what I needed and I knew my parents loved & supported me.  Is it that simple?  Make sure your kid knows that you love and support them?  Make sure you give them what they need but not everything they want?  Getting ready to become a dad is scary enough without being reminded that any screw up you make could mess up the kid for the rest of their life.

In summation I am aware that there isn’t a formula or routine that one can follow in order to make sure they don’t screw up their child for life.  Or is there?     🙂

 

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Guilty Pleasures – The Wizard

According to the always reliable Wikipedia Guilty Pleasure is defined as  something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The “guilt” involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one’s lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes.   From time to time I will share with you some of my guilty pleasures.

THE WIZARD

The Wizard is about a boy who runs away from home with his little brother, who happens to be a gaming prodigy, and ultimately signs him up to play in a gaming tournament.  This movie was basically a giant advertisement for Nintendo, when I watched the movie I was a huge Nintendo fan, what does this mean?  It means that when I watched this movie I was in HEAVEN.  I remember watching this movie over & over & over again, to the point where I probably should have been institutionalized.

I actually watched this movie again a couple of years ago & I’m not ashamed to say I fell right back in love with it.  Watching Fred Savage’s character run away from home with his brother & have complete & total freedom blew my mind.  Watching the Power Glove get used for the first time & getting my first glimpse of Super Mario Bros 3 instantly had me harassing my mother until she got both of these for me (Super Mario Bros 3 just as good as advertised, the Power Glove on the other hand caused me to attend therapy sessions to get over my disappointment).

The feeling the movie created of this secret gaming culture that kids all knew about but parents were oblivious to was very real & something I felt apart of.

The family dealing with the loss of a family member also opened my eyes to a type of loss I had never really knew existed at the time.  When i watched this part again it did tug at my heart-strings all over again.

And then the closing shot of the characters in the back of the truck heading home, everything is fine, cue music, fade to black was perfection to me at the time.  Even now hearing the song they play at the end causes me to smile just a little (I have the song on my Ipod, don’t judge).

For those who watched & loved the movie I tip my hat to you.  Even better I know that if i was to say:  I Love The Powerglove…its so bad.   We would be able to share a memory together of something that was so bad, but so very great at the same time!

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