Monthly Archives: January 2013

Oh, the horror…

So, one of my favorite authors of all time is Stephen King: The Master of Horror. I’ve written term/research papers on him, I’ve read/watched anything he’s produced, and I’ve started collecting first edition copies of his books. Today, however, I find myself steering towards whatever he writes, whether it be short stories, novels, or screenplays.

In my last post, I talked about how I tend to devour books. However, when it comes to the works of King, I find myself taking my time to let everything soak through me (I still burn through the books faster than most people though). Stephen King has been scaring America for most of his life with the fantastically spooky worlds he spins. Sadly, it’s because of this fondness for King’s stories that has caused so many of his stories to be flashed up onto the big screen (or the TV in the cases where he didn’t want to cut the times down to a suitable amount). And now that Hollywood seems to be losing it’s creative flare, more and more of his stories keep getting optioned, and it’s starting to get a little tiring, annoying, etc.

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What’s wrong with the original movies? We’re going onto the third releasing of “Carrie,” adapted from King’s novel Carrie, the second releasing of “IT” (which isn’t even keeping true to the story), and the second releasing of “The Stand.” Sissy Spacek, John Ritter, Tim Curry, and Gary Sinese did fantastic jobs in these movies, just leave well enough alone.

Now, I know other movies based off of his books have more than one edition, but in all fairness…He called for those, like with The Shining. I’m sorry, but Stanley Kubrick butchered that story. The Twins? Never mentioned. Jack Nickolson’s death? Kubrick’s imagination running wild. Scatman Crothers’ death by axe? Never happened, didn’t even have an axe in the book. The reason this infuriates me is because when directors decide to take these stories and mutilate them, and then every time I go to read those stories, I have to block out the memories of the movies in order to fully enjoy it. All the remakes are just starting to get nauseating when I go to read a good book. I wonder if I’m the only one this bothered by the issue.

Stephen King once said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” I find this to be very true, but I’s becoming more and more difficult to keep the horror of Hollywood at bay while I enter these magical worlds.

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A Sudden Hunger

Thirst. Hunger. Need. Want. All words associated with the sudden desire to devour more books than would seem humanly possible. Recently, my hunger for books has seemed insatiable. Ever year, my mom asks me to write up a Christmas list – a list of ideas for Christmas gifts so she’s not bumbling around in the dark and so I can still be surprised Christmas morning, not fully knowing what will be waiting for me. Being her only child, she still enjoys this part of Christmas very much, despite the fact that I am twenty-two. This year, I received five books among my gifts. Before I returned to campus I had already read four of them. Between December 25 and January 8, amidst the Christmas festivities, my grandparents’ anniversary, New Year’s celebrations, and my mom’s birthday, I was able to become completely lost in four separate books, all over 300 pages.

Upon my return home this past weekend, I had one major project: clean up my room. My mom is getting the house refinanced and is expecting an inspector, so my room needed to be in tip-top shape. This meant getting rid of the books that cluttered up my room. Besides the extremely large built-in bookshelf that encompasses one solid wall in the basement Rec room, I have a small collection on an even smaller bookshelf in my room – a place to put my absolute favorites, just inches from my bed. So, I pulled all the books around me and embarked upon the seemingly impossible task of choosing which would stay and which would be banished to the basement bookshelves – book shelves I have to climb in order to actually reach any of my books. During this brief stay, I informed my mom to keep an eye out for a delivery for me – more books, to my delight and her dismay. Not that she doesn’t like books, we are just running out of room to stash them.

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When I told one of my friends how many books I had read, she looked at me, pure shock on her face, and demanded: “How do you do that???” I shrugged my shoulders. I don’t know. Do I graze? Do I daze off? Do I actually pay attention? I don’t know. I’d like to think I pay attention and take everything in. So, then, I began to wonder if it was the material I was reading. Was it too easy? I didn’t think so. Here’s my GoodReads, check it out for yourself.

Even now, I’m tempted to abandon this blog and pick up one of my books. Am I the only one who finds themselves reading like this at times? And not just out of necessity for work or school, but for fun? I hope not. I am reminded of a quote from Stephen King: “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Is this what happened to me? Was I transported by the book’s magic, losing myself in it? I hope so.

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Applying for Citizenship

I have to apply for citizenship? Those were the words that popped into my head when this idea of “Literary Citizenship” was first brought to my attention. At the end of last semester, one of my professors brought this idea up to our Novel Writing class, encouraging us to become stronger literary citizens, and adding in the fact that there was going to be a class on the subject offered the following semester. Intrigued, I enrolled in the class.

I have only ever created one website, a requirement for one of my courses, and I only have twenty followers on Twitter, by no means noteworthy. Having very little experience with these sorts of things, I figured that I could learn a lot from this course – most of all, how to become a better literary citizen. The first step was to create and post in a blog – something I have never ever done before and had never considered doing until now. Not only have I never created a blog, but I am unfamiliar with the conventions and norms that pertain to starting and maintaining a successful blog and following.

I had no idea how important creating an online following was to my literary future. And I had no idea how far behind I was in the grand scheme of things.

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So, what is “Literary Citizenship?” Good question! I still have no solid idea, having only attended one class thus far. However, on of the biggest things I picked up from that lecture was: Be interested in what other people are doing. Why should people be interested in what you have to say if you’re not interested in what they have to say?

This question jarred me quite a bit when I was listening/reading our introductory materials. It was something I had never actually thought about before and I immediately began to question what I had been doing up to this point. I was also forced to reevaluate my opinions on some things. For example, before being introduced to the idea of “Literary Citizenship,” I didn’t feel it necessary to consistently post Facebook, Twitter, or even create a blog. From my previous experiences, people only used these outlets to whine about the things that weren’t being fulfilled in their own lives. However, I soon discovered that I wasn’t looking in the right place. At all.

Finally, I find that what I need the most is to learn how to improve and build off of the foundation I already have. I need to push myself much, much further into the writing community, because, as I said before, why should people be interested in me, if I’m not interested in them?

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