Archive | March, 2015

Clean Reader: Hold onto your Panties (or bloomers)

31 Mar

So someone on my facebook posted a link to an outraged author, who doesn’t want to be censored. In a nutshell, fragile folks who get upset with cuss words like books, but could do without them. Kind of like when my dad squints at Netflix and turns stuff off because it’s basically deviating into a soft-core porno (which my mom would probably enjoy…) Hence, the birth of the App Clean Reader – where we change words like ‘bitch’ to ‘witch’ and so on and so forth. Apparently, this act of not being in full awe of the author’s use of colorful language is akin to changing entire scenes, point the fingers at Christians, because hey, why not? (And let’s be fair, if that is all the discrimination Christians get, we’re really lucking out – I’m sorry, but we’re a soft people with soft problems, go to other places around the world and we should be so lucky).

Let me say, I’m for freedom of speech – not in an anything goes, who am I to judge (I think most of us judge, silently; or we fear conflict and we’re cow-toed into silence) – insofar that I don’t want anyone telling me what I can and can’t say, how to interpret a text, etc. I want you to come to your own conclusions, and the best way to do that is to allow you freedom of expression, but also allow for you to decide for yourself what is and isn’t right for you. I could go on about how PTSD is a thing in EMS right now and none of us are as hardcore as we think, but let’s focus, shall we?

I also understand an artist’s desire to protect their work’s intent. I can understand being upset that “they” want to put smilie tassels over your artistic titties, and change your work into something it’s not. Here’s the thing though: this happens all. the. time. People edit videos, check things out for their kids before they see it – and no one is fooling anyone, see the clip below. If I were to send a novel into a house that has political leanings, I’d be surprised if my accepted novel didn’t in some shape embrace the party line.

Honestly, the sort of people using Clean Reader are probably the sort of people who frequent Christian Book Stores. I do – but I’m generally browsing the non-fiction. They are probably reading the ‘sweet’ romances or fiction that is in their set of values – where nary an ankle is described. They probably consider most anything else to ‘worldly’.

I get that you want to protect your work. I understand the concern. The thing is, though, if I were reading that much colorful language and it was offending me, I’d probably put it down even if I really liked it. My morals come first – sort of like if we knew animals were killed in a movie, even if it was good, people would boycott it. (And I’ll read anything – I might skim the sex scenes unless they have a point other than your couple’s true love boinking is better than the rest of us). And, then, realizing there was a whole niche market of people like me, I’d steal your idea, making your blonde a brunette and write the bastardized “Christian” or whatever version. Hey, if Dan Brown can do it, we all can. If clean reader is really changing that much, that’s like hating superhero movies and going to the Avengers for the cinematography. “Gah! So many explosions! Why do they have to have powers? Are they glorifying that alcoholic playboy? At least they managed to get the crane shots right.”

In the meantime, let’s enjoy the TV edits for basically what Clean Reader is doing.

If you don’t know what movie that is from, that little girl liked Marvel’s Thor before the rest of us probably did.


What I’ve been Reading Lately

19 Mar

If you’re ever wondering why I read one book over another, I tend to read whatever people give me, even though I get all hipster and begrudgingly read what’s popular unless it’s by a local author, but I will eventually give in. I put stuff down to read something more pressing, and I come back to it, but I think it makes me look like I’m binging on a genre for a while, but if someone gives me a book I like to return it to them in a timely manner. So enjoy while I cross-out the easy ones on this challenge, and we’ll see how I’m really doing later on in the challenge as the remainders get harder.

Reading Challenge Update
A Classic Romance – Anna Keranina by Leo Tolstoy
A Book that Became a Movie – The Maze Runner by James Dascher
A Mystery or Thriller – The Scorch Trials by James Dascher
A Book Set in the Future – The Death Cure by James Dascher
^I know I could technically cross-off trilogy, but then he had to go and make a prequel. I’m sure someone will loan me the third book in a trilogy, I have two I’m thinking of and my friend has both final books.
A Non-Fiction Book – Wheat Belly by William Davis
A Book Set in High School – Twist of the Blade by Edward Willett
A Love Triangle – Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Claire (Okay, this was more like a love dodecahedron, but I digress…)
A Book that was originally written in a different language – Attack on Titan – No Regrets (Vol I & II – counting this as one story)

So with the exception of the Prequel, I read the Maze Runner series. Can I say, that while I usually can accept any rules in a universe so long as they’re consistent – that the virus… well, it seems like a horrible thing to brew up, because the purpose was population control. It’s implied to be man made. Now, it’s been a while since I did my Haz-Mat stuff, and we have stuff that attacks the nervous system – thing is, it attacks the lower brain, which causes SLUDGE (Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defication, Gastric Distention and Emesis, which is basically medical-speak for your various openings start leaking whatever nasty fluid is associated with it) and as any student who has taken more than a basic university biology course can tell you – this is the kill zone. And it’s an automatic – you can control your breathing if you think about it, but you don’t normally, your body regulates it. Your cells automatically like a given PH and temperature – it’s all quite fascinating but in a nut shell, if we had to think to get our hearts to beat or our platelets to clot, we’d be hooped (of course, the heart runs on its own system independent of the brain, but the lungs don’t. That’s what you need to knock out – fry the basics, the body won’t last long).

So, while the books weren’t my thing, because it was Dan Browning in terms of all the cliff-hangers and mysteries for a sake of mysteries, can anyone tell me what genius, if he is creating something for population control, puts out something airborne, difficult to control, and also takes weeks – attacking higher brain functions? I know it’s scary and hey, we all like fast-moving zombies now, but it doesn’t make any sense. We could screw around with higher brain functions, but it’s not effective killing. You need something that looks dormant for about a week so people don’t know they have it, it kills them quickly, people scatter in fear, and the exposed scatter and spread because they don’t know they’re carriers. Easy.

Here’s my Saving Ass Pulls:

We Put you Kids in the Maze because we’re Pissed You’re Immune
We Put you Kids in the Maze because we’re only taking those best suited to problem solve are going in our Survival Dome. Your genes will be harvested for future use, but we are only taking X amount of people
We Put you Kids in the Maze because We’re Eccentric Dicks

But none of those scream out that the main character is the Special Chosen Savior.

It just seems better than, “We put your kids through death trials to learn how your brain responds to threats, which is where your ‘ghost’ comes in and controls things – unlike how fighting viruses and bacteria actually work.’ But maybe I’m wrong here. My study was on the more physiological and practical side then theory – thoughts?

My Solution to Writing Burnout (Cartoons!)

19 Mar

Manitoba March can be tricky – sure, it’s nice now – the snow is almost melted – I’ll post the ‘got ya!’ blizzard that’s due some time around spring break. So I’ve been enjoying walking along Crescent Lake in PlaP and generally being outside with the dog, who is now 100% cone free.

Anyway – I know I was complaining about being burnt out before – let’s just say that I’ve been doing a lot of sketching lately, and that it seems to take the edge off writing. I actually want to work, and I finished two kids books in about four, maybe five months – which isn’t super fast, but given how generally tired I was, I’m surprised I did them as quick as I did. Editing is another story. I guess what I’m saying, is that when you’re stuck creatively – go and do something different. I need to get out of my comfort zone to be comfortable, so to speak. In the summer it’s easy – and now that I’m working full-time in a permanent position with someone who isn’t batshit crazy, I really have no excuse except for clinging to the past if I want to.

So I went through some old movies and I stumbled across a French-Canadian FIlm. Warning: Racism, NSFW. The Triplettes of Belleville – definitely a film if you’re artsy, or just like watching animation styles.

So I thought I’d mention some animation – limiting it to films – because I’m a giant nerd about it.

I can’t wait to get Song of the Sea – which looks pretty stylistic to Secret of the Kells. SotK I really enjoyed – there was a lot of hidden symbology in that movie. SotS is out on DVD, but I’m not allowed to spend any more money until Pay Day. I’m getting serious about my down payment, so I have a budget. Derp derp.

Back to more grown up stuff – Fire and Ice I probably watch at least once a year – I love Frazetta’s work, and this is basically an animated Burroughs Pelucidar movie. Nekron’s been my favorite character since I was a kid (no, definitely not a kid’s movie) but considering the characters are basically naked, it’s essentially an art study on movement, anatomy – the whole shebang. Rotoscoping – yes, the first few minutes feels like a He-Man cartoon. Right around the time the first guy gets gored, you realize it’s something a bit different…

And bonus if you buy the DVD – the one I got for my dad, anyway – has the Painting with Fire Documentary, which is about Frazetta’s life and gives you a bit of insight about the painter who pretty much defines the fantasy art genre to this day. I will get to the museum, some day *shake fist*

Terry Pratchett passed away a week ago – which, honestly, kind of stunned me, even though I knew his health was in decline. Anyhew, two of his books were animated – Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music. Other live action films include The Color of Magic and Hogfather, I have the graphic novel of Guards!Guards! Both animated films I own are done by Cosgrove Hall, who did Danger Mouse and Count Duckula, so while you shouldn’t expect Disney Animation, the details are great.

There are more – lots more – be it an animation style, or you like the story, what are some of your favorite animated films? (Or series, I’m cool with that, too).