A Post About Gone Girl

Pretend you just read a witty title for this post, okay?  I was trying to come up with some stuff, but I got nothing.

Also WordPress has changed its layout since my last time here, so….I’m just like…whaaaaaat?  Or maybe that’s because it’s 2:00 AM.  I don’t do sleep very well.  Some of you may remember the time I had to make up a story for myself just to try to coax some sleep out of my overly stimulated brain.

So!  Instead of sleep, here’s a story.  I was waiting on a youngish couple at work, and I asked them if they had plans for the evening.  They told me they were going to see a movie called Gone Girl.  I had not heard of this movie, but when I was told it was based on a book, I was sold.  I hit up the ol’ B&N and I bought the book.  Believe it or not, I am going to do yet another book/movie review for you, but this one is going to be sans spoilers.

How?  I don’t know.  I just can’t bear to ruin it for you.  I won’t do that.

The book didn’t wow me at first.  Author Gyllian Flynn definitely captured a tone for her two narrators, both disillusioned writers who attempted to overcompensate for their lack of recognition by filling their narration with dramatic tones, hyperbole, and ten-dollar words.  It worked to establish them as characters, but I felt the first few chapters were a slog.  Then it happened: I was reading late at night, because sleep is for people who don’t have books to read late at night, and suddenly my eyes were wide open.  I was reading voraciously.  It was difficult to put the damn thing down, even though I felt well and truly tired.

Would I recommend this book?  Absolutely.  Is it insane?  Abso-freaking-lutely!!

Seriously!  It’s crazy.  It’s just like…whoa, what?  No.  I can’t.  But I will!  Because the fun ride!  What a fun ride!

See, I’m a mystery writer’s ideal audience, because I don’t like to try to figure out whodunnit on my own.  I love being taken along for the ride.  Just getting in the rollercoaster without trying to figure out who…built it.  Or where it’s going.  This metaphor only slightly works.  Sorry.

Anyway, it does require some suspension of disbelief.  It really does.  I mean…I almost had to take my disbelief out back and shoot it.  But it was so worth it!  Now, I’m going to add here that if you are the type of person who isn’t easily taken for a ride by a mystery novel, you might read it and figure out what’s going on way before the big reveal.  Then it’s probably anticlimactic.

Flynn’s strength was the first person narration.  As I read, I thought, “How could she possibly cast suspicion on this person when we are literally seeing everything happen through their eyes?”  But it works.  She manages to cast just the right amount of doubt, and she establishes that neither of her narrators are 100% reliable.

The other strength was this amazing ability to build a ton of sympathy for a character, only to destroy it and make you hate them, only to make your root for them again.  And that’s where I feel the movie lost me a little bit.  The movie’s pacing was way better than the book’s, but it sacrificed a lot of character and relationship development to do that I think.  What does this mean as far as my recommendation goes?  Read the book and see the movie.  They balance and complement each other perfectly.  Even though I knew what was going to happen going into the movie, I still found it incredibly entertaining.  It left me with so much stuff I wanted to talk about that I ended up taking notes right there in the dark, using a purple pen and my ticket stub.

photo 3

photo 2

And then when I ran out of room on the ticket/couldn’t see where I was writing, I switched to my hand.

Writing in the dark on my hand, clearly not the easiest thing.

I know this post is running long, so I’m just going to touch on each point briefly.

1. Pacing – already done

2. Tone – I have no fucking clue what I wanted to say about it.  It was well established and good?  I think so.

3. Volvo – Seriously how many movies has Volvo made possible?  Are they trying to make up for Twilight?  Just wondering.

4. Line Delivery – I liked the movie, but I couldn’t help smiling at the kind of sedate, serious well…line delivery.  The way the actor’s talked it was all:

Serious Movie

Even the jokes were sometimes delivered like a eulogy.  Just watch it.  You’ll understand what I’m talking about.

5. Boney’s Looks – Here is Rhonda Boney’s description from the book:

The woman was surprisingly ugly — brazenly, beyond the scope of everyday ugly: tiny round eyes set tight as buttons, a long twist of a nose, skin spackled with tiny bumps, long lank hair the color of a dust bunny.

– Gone Girl, 33

Look up a picture of Kim Dickens, the actress who played Detective Boney.  She is gorgeous.  I despise the fact that Hollywood is so loath to cast ugly people or even “ugly” people.  Everyone has to have divinely good looks.  Just a little nitpick.

6. Narration – It seems like every movie that’s based on a book has to have some element of narration in it.  Not every movie I guess, but a lot of them.  This one started out with a wee bit, and I got worried, but they quickly did away with it.  There was some more later, technically, because there is a voiceover of Amy reading her diary entries, but it would have been hard to incorporate that crucial element any other way.  It was an excellent framing device in the book and the movie.

7. NPH – Neil Patrick Harris.  I’ve never been a huge, drooling fangirl over him.  He’s cute and sweet, and clearly he loves his husband and kids, but hey…never got into How I met Your Mother.  I’m not a fan of laugh tracks.  Then he’s in this, and wow.  He does a wonderfully subtle, believable severely disturbed psychopath (believe it or not, this is not much of a spoiler).  I give him props for this role.

7.5 RP – Side note, I am a drooling fangirl over Rosamund Pike.  That woman is gorgeous.

8. Sympathy – Already talked about above.

9. People’s Reactions – It was great listening to other moviegoers’ reactions to the ending.  Clearly they’d had no idea what was coming, and it was interesting.  They were not nearly as infuriated as I was when I finished the book, but they had definitely reacted to the curve ball they’d been thrown.  And that’s what Flynn does; she throws curve balls.  I was severely pissed at her for the way the book (and subsequently the movie) ended, but I also had to offer her grudging respect for it.

This book is going on the Recommend list.  And the movie!

Long post, I know.  Read then watch, folks.  That’s the TL;DR version.

Also watch Movie Bob talk about it.  He says everything I’m thinking but much more succinctly.  Click here for his review.

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How I’m Procrastinating

A little while back, I came to the inevitable conclusion that I can’t put off editing Grotesque any longer.  It’s been years since I took a real look at it.  Aside from Hellbound, Grotesque is the only decent book I’ve ever written.  And judging by how difficult it’s been to get editors to pay attention to Hellbound, it is becoming increasingly apparent that I am going to need a Plan B.  This isn’t surprising.  It just means that I’m in for a lot of hard work.

The problem is that when I am faced with hard work, I like to retreat into my little Bubble of Happiness where there are Disney movies and warm blankets and Skittles.  The Bubble protects me from all my adult responsibilities.

Happy Bubble

I am really good at procrastinating.

For instance…I’m writing this blog post right now.  That does not count as editing.  Also I drew that picture of the Bubble of Happiness.

And have you heard of Netflix??  It should be called Procrastination…flix.

So I’m having a rough time of it.  But…I have done a little.  It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

The reason I’m saying any of this is…well…some other projects are going to have to be put on hold.  No more of my chapter updates for that other book I was writing.  Although I have some good ideas for it.  I’m still going on with the Support Hellbound Initiative, of course.  The more support I can gather, the better.  It’s never too late to join in!

But for now I must buckle down.  I must.

I must….

I wonder what’s on Netflix?

Hey look I drew a comic!

Writer's-Block-Strip-43

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A Game

Let’s play a game called “My life was awesome, then it was shitty.”

The rules are simple.  First I’m going to tell you about how my life was awesome, and then I’m going to tell you how it abruptly turned shitty.  Your role is to respectively envy and pity me.  Then we all go home feeling mildly disappointed.  The number of people who enjoy this game is exactly zero.

Ready?

Okay.  So on Sunday the fiance and I went to see Lorde perform live.

It.

Was.

Amazing!

She had her own personalized confetti!

She had her own personalized confetti!

She is not even eighteen years old yet, but she is a captivating performer.  You can tell she really, truly enjoys it, too.  She also did two quick-changes for just one short concert.  Her performance of “Royals” was out of this world.  She is going places.  Awesome places.

Now for the second part:

On Monday I went in to work a lunch shift.  (For those who don’t know: I am a waitress.)  At the end of my very short shift, I went to grab my purse and put my tip money into my wallet only to find that, well…my purse was half unzipped (Odd because I always zip it up 100%) and my wallet was nowhere to be found.

There was between 100 and 200 dollars in that wallet.  As well as a credit card, a debit card, and my health insurance cards.

Gone.

Needless to say…I was not happy.  I called the police, and then I set about cancelling my cards and doing all the other annoying things you have to do when your wallet gets stolen.

The policeman looked exactly like you’d expect a policeman to look.  He was youngish, white, had a strong jaw and a buzzcut.  He stood with his arms not quite rested at his sides like he was ready for action at any second.  But for all that readiness, there wasn’t actually much he could do for me.  He did ask me if I thought someone I worked with could have committed the crime.

My answer was a resolute “No.”

Yesterday my wallet appeared again.

In the kitchen.

Without any cash in it.

You know…in the kitchen.  Where only employees go.

I am happy and relieved to have my driver’s license and all my cards back.  Unfortunately my credit and debit cards remain useless, but that’s okay.

What’s not okay is that someone I work with stole from me.  You might even call it shitty.

Thus ends the game.  I have nothing else to report…OH!  Right.  There were some signed signature cards in my wallet as well.  Really happy to get those back.  Here’s an updated count:

Cards

45!!!  That’s great!

Radar + Cards

Radar and I are both very happy with this outcome.

Remember it’s never too late to join in the fun!  The more the merrier!  It’s easy and free!  Look at how happy you’ll make my dog!  There will still be prizes for writing in to get a card.  Read all about it by clicking “signed signature cards” above or clicking right here.

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First Count

I have here a picture of all the signature cards I have received so far.

33 cards

That’s 33 signatures all told.  You can click on it to zoom in if you want, see if your name is on there.  If it isn’t, don’t worry.  I’ve actually acquired some more cards since then, so a new count will be due soon.

By the way…this is great!  33 signatures!  That is 30 more than I was expecting to get.  If yours is among them, thank you so much.  If yours isn’t, read on because I have come up with some new ways to sign!

You now have three options.

1. The original — Send me an email with your mailing address at WriteRightWithBex@gmail.com.  I will mail you a card with an SASE so you can sign it and mail it right back.  Read this post for further instructions and details, as well as the excerpt of my book, Hellbound.

2. Electronic signature type 1 — Send me an email requesting this type of signature and I will send you one back with a Word document of the Hellbound support card.  Print out the document, sign it, then scan it or take a picture of it and send the file back to me.  I will place a small “El.” at the bottom of the “card” to signify that it has been signed electronically.

3. Electronic signature type 2 — For those without a printer.  Keep in mind that I know what I’m about to say is going to sound sketchy, but that the only way this can happen is with your signed consent.  This one is pretty simple.  Sign a piece of white paper with black pen, or a dark-colored sharpie.  Then take a picture or scan the signature and email me the file.  I will use the powers of photoshop to lift your signature off of the page and place it on a card.  Sketchy, I know.  But I’m trying to make this easier for you.  Also I will send you a picture of the finished product so you can approve it, and this form of signature will also get an “El.” on it.

That email address again is WriteRightWithBex@gmail.com.

Let’s show those publishers we mean business!

I know I kinda left you hanging in the middle of a book the other day, but I am currently back to working on The Dreamcatchers.  As long as I am writing, I am happy.  This means you might have to wait a little longer for updates on Bandu Pole.  Sorry.

Next time I’ll talk about my progress with The Dreamcatchers.  Until then, it’s time to sign some cards!

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Short Update, Long Rant

I’ve got a good chunk of signatures going for all who are wondering.  I have not yet put them up in any type of display which is why I don’t have pictures.  But obviously this kind of thing is in the “more the merrier” type category.  Meaning write in!  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Click here.  Do know what I’m talking about?  You can still write in to WriteRightWithBex@gmail.com.  I’m working on figuring out a way to incorporate an electronic signing system.  I think many people are wary of giving out their addresses despite my incredibly reassuring disclaimer.  Remember, I’m a twenty-something blogger who is interested only in signed business cards.  I’m not going to sell your information, and you’re not going to start getting daily newsletters in the mail from me about the newest sales at Macy’s.

Now that that’s out of the way, we are going to have a little (read: super long) post for those who have missed Ranty Bex.

So the story goes like this.  My fiance and I went to the movies to see the newest Woody Allen flick for lack of anything better to see.  It was alright…not that great.  As we walked out of the movie theater, I caught a glimpse of a poster.  I have Googled it for you (Incognito window…don’t want Google thinking I’m actually interested in this thing).  Here is a picture:

HNNGNGNG

Yup.  That’s what I saw.  And honestly it took me a second to figure out what it was, but something in my brain was desperately shying away from it even as I came to the inevitable, terrifying conclusion.

They made 50 Shades of Grey into a movie.

They actually did it.

Now…some may think they know why I have a problem with this, but I think some are only partly right.

I have written about this before, but I will reiterate: You can read and enjoy trashy novels.  I have.  I still do occasionally.  They’re fun.  This is not what bothers me.  See what bothers me is that 50 Shades was never a novel.  It. Was. A. FANFICTION!!!  For whatever reason, either because E. L. James found a spectacularly good lawyer or because Stephenie Meyer isn’t particularly litigious, a Twilight FanFiction got published and started making money.

THIS IS ILLEGAL!!

The only reason people get away with writing their own stories using other peoples characters, settings, worlds, etc. is that they do not make money from it.  Because when you do make money from it, that means you are making money from plagiarizing!  From stealing!  E. L. James is a thief and everyone is letting her get away with it.  Which brings me to point #2…

This was not a secret!!  Everybody knows this started as a Fan Fiction (No I don’t know why I’m capitalizing it.  Just looks better this way).  Even people who know nothing about this book know that it was a Fan Fic.  Seriously.  Despite E. L. James desperately sweeping the internet, trying to take it down.  Which screams guilt right there.  She or someone who works for her knows exactly what she did.  What she got away with.  With enough Googling you can still find the old story.  I’ve read some of it.  I have seen the exact same words that I first saw on the pages of 50 Shades on some website somewhere.  Only there was one difference.  The names Christian and Anastasia had mysteriously disappeared.  Now there was nothing but “Edward” and “Bella.”  Whoever they are.

Okay, so if you’ve read this far, you get my point.  But there is one more tiny thing I want to bring up.

It's-Porn

Yeah.  There’s no going around that.  This book started as a Fan Fiction written by a woman who wanted to see Edward and Bella get kinky.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Granted it’s a very poor representation of how BDSM actually works.  Can’t say that enough.  But it’s still just pages and pages of build up to, and then the enactment of, sex and kink.  It is a pornographic novel.  It was written to be pornographic.  And it should, as such, be rated NC-17 at the very least.  BUT!!

But….

IT’S COMING OUT ON VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

They want people to take dates to see this movie!!

“Hey, honey, remember that book I couldn’t stop masturbating to?”

“Yeah…You called me Christian in bed for like a week…”

“Yeah!  They made a movie out of it!  Let’s go see it on Valentine’s Day!”

“……”

Seriously!!  Look at the poster!  This is what they want!

TL;DR:

50 Shades of Grey is a Fan Fiction that got published (illegal) and it’s now being made into a movie (even more illegal) which is (presumably) not a porno (not true to source material) and they want people to see it on Valentine’s Day!

So yeah…I’m royally pissed.  I’m trying to get my original work published, but I can’t.  Because we need to leave room on the shelf for 50 Shades of Grey.

Which leads me back to: Please join the Support Hellbound Initiative!  It is not the most original book in the world but I am 100% confident it is better than 50 Shades of Grey.

The End!

 

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