Monday, September 24, 2012

Make It Golden, Baby!

Are you an aspiring romance writer planning to enter the Golden Heart this year?  Would you like to have your entry fee paid for you?  (Cuz who wouldn't, amirite?)  Well then, hie yourself on over to the Ruby Blog where we are hosting our annual Make It Golden contest.  Your opening could win you an entry fee!  (Fame! Fortune!  Acclaim!)  All this could be yours...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Get Your Books, Swag & Critiques While They're Hot!

It's that time again, boys and girls!  Yes, the third annual (can you believe we're three?!) Ruby Blog-O-Versary!  We have a shiny new look to our website (faster! better! practically bionic!) and approximately eleventeen bajillion prizes to give away to commenters today.  So come on by and grab your share of the swag just for wishing us a happy blog birthday! 

Three years and going strong!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lost Arts

So I'm reading the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I know, I know, I'm behind the times) and it has me wanting to take up letter writing - except for two tiny little details.  1) I don't have a steady return address so by the time I sent a letter there would be no guarantee that I would still be at my return address to receive a reply.  And 2) No one writes letters anymore.

I feel like letter writing is one of those lost arts, victims of efficiency.  Why write a letter when an email is faster and cheaper?

But is fast always a good thing?  When you write a letter, you take the time to say what you want and say it well.  And it lasts.  Emails last forever but they feel transient because they aren't physical.  I just can't picture digging up an old box of love emails my grandma wrote to my grandpa.  No handwriting to puzzle through, no sense that they touched those pages, held them all those years ago.  Is this a way the internet makes us less connected, even as it makes us more connected?  Is Goodnight Tweetheart the modern sequel to the epistolary novels of old?  

I still write in journals, even though I type at about three times the pace I write by hand.  My thoughts are crisper scrawled in purple pens across the pages.  I find I think different things.  Would the conversations we have via email be different if we knew they had to withstand the time spent in the post and still be relevant?  Would we be different for the changes in the conversations we have in the post, for the different thoughts we think in that slower mode?  Is letter writing an art we should save?  Or is it a fatality of the times, dead and unwept?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Non-Friday Unfixable Mess Fix-It Friday: The Words

I wonder, boys and girls, if Bradley Cooper secretly hates writers.  Not on a conscious level, mind you, but in some dark corner of his soul where his id fantasizes about slaughtering us all in our sleep.  It's the id that has all the dark business, isn't it?  I say this because he seems to delight in playing writers that are rather dreadful human beings (or perhaps a more charitable person would just say they are particularly susceptible to human frailties).  First it was Limitless - where the writer took a magic pill that let him write his book in one night and then go on to be a TOTAL SCHMUCK for the rest of the film.  Now it's The Words.  Oh, The Words. 

I should not have gone to this movie. 

Oh, by the way SPOILERS AHOY!  MAD HUGE SPOILERS.  I'm not even going to try to contain the spoilers so, you know, you've been warned.

Plagiarism.  Isn't that a happy topic for a movie?  But it's a movie about a book and it had a cast I enjoy (Oh, Jeremy Irons, why?  Why did you do this to me?), so I thought, perhaps there will be a good message in the end and it will delight me.  The previews said it was the first Must See movie of the year.  Lying punks who make previews.  I shake my fist at them.

I thought the moral was going to be Plagiarism Is Bad, which I can get behind.  But then the moral seemed to skew to somewhere between You Can Plagiarize And Get Away With It! and The Worst Thing About Plagiarism Is the Guilt Poor Poor You Will Feel.  And don't tell your wife, because if you do, she will leave you, so if you are going to plagiarize, be secretive!

If you've seen the movie, the ONLY thing that even comes CLOSE to redeeming the SUCKAGE of these two messages is the line about how maybe the old man didn't really exist - which makes it a question of either 1) he plagiarized and the old man was a figment of his guilt that ruined his life OR 2) he wrote the book then couldn't accept his own success (ooooooh, right?) and invented the plagiarism thing to cope with his own imposter syndrome, which would be a really cool movie.  I just don't think this was that movie.

I was also kind of squicked out by the young girl coming onto him when he was his semi-older Dennis Quaid-self, because I couldn't figure out if she was supposed to be his daughter.  And then they were making out and I was like, DEAR GOD I HOPE THAT IS NOT HIS CHILD.  But maybe I wasn't supposed to think that, but she knew a lot about his life and Olivia Wilde could potentially be the love child of Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana, right? 

So the book The Words with no name on the cover was supposed to be his literary form confession that his younger self plagiarized?  And he was successful but it was an empty success because his wife left him when he told her that he had stolen the book?  Is this really your protagonist?  Am I really supposed to relate and/or feel sorry for him?  REALLY?  No.  He had a thousand opportunities to come clean and he didn't.  Why do dramas always want us to root for the jerkface douchebags? 

You know who I can root for?  People who don't plagiarize.  That's who. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Delinquent Blogger

I've been a very bad blogger lately, haven't I?  I'd like to tell you it'll be getting better (and maybe it will, who knows?) but it seems unlikely since I am currently headed up into the mountains of New Hampshire where I will have limited internet for the next month.  What I will have, whilst I am all de-internetted, is a stretch of lovely, uninterrupted time to FINISH (yes, I said it, finish) Karma's book, which I have been slowly, slowly, slowly toiling over for what feels like eleven million years.  Now, I don't like to talk about the books while I'm still wrestling the wily little bastards into submission, so I won't say much, except 1) it is hella fun seeing all my favorite characters come back to say howdy and 2) this is a battle royale between Order and Chaos and I love it when love is good and chaotic.  Or evil and chaotic.  As the case may be.

Now wish me luck and fiendish productivity, boys and girls.  I'm off to my writing cave.