Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Sunday, April 10, 2011

List of Grievances/Happy Fun Time

Things that are annoying me this week:

I don't know if this is just a Utah thing that I don't understand (like leaving church to go to parties for a baby blessing), but what is the deal with people standing right behind you at the supermarket as you're checking out? Every single time I go to Wal-Mart, as I'm loading up the bags into my cart, the person behind me pushes their cart right up to where the bags are. So I have to wait for them to move in order to use the machine to swipe my credit card. See that little stand next to the machine? That's for me to interact with the cashier. I like to put my purse and my coupons there. Don't stand in front of it, please. I don't get why people do this, but it literally happens every single time I go to the store.

Living in a basement. I remember reading this article last year about a family who took advantage of the recession to downsize their too large home and move into a much smaller one. It had made them unbelievably happy and they loved all their togetherness. Yeah, I'm not that family. Everybody here is starting to go just a tad crazy. It's really hard living in a space this size with no heat (and another subgripe - seriously? It's mid-April, and it's snowing here like it's December. What is up with that? It's 84 degrees back where we used to live. /rant off) and my kids are cramped and not able to go anywhere and run around and be loud and that's hard. We're all getting grouchy about it, and being confined indoors is not helping it at all.

Reviewing other authors. On a bigger level, this isn't a problem. Rob commented on Twitter not too long ago that nobody's ever told him that Konrath and Hocking's books are good. I couldn't dispute that because the one book I'd read of Konrath had a hysterically bad ending (although I do heart the guy and adore his blog - and I'm sure his other books are much better, but he's a Stephen King type writer, and I don't so much like the blood and gore and swearing and horror stuff). The one I read, "The List," had a great premise - people were cloned from famous historical figures and branded with a tattoo, and then they start being killed off. His Abe Lincoln character was fantastic, and the hero's detective partner was probably the best part of the book. I won't spoil it for you if you're interested in reading it, but the ending involves, and I'm not kidding, lobotomized killer clones (which would be a good name for a rock band). I can see why the book didn't get published (he shopped it for a while). Then on to Amanda Hocking - she's a great storyteller. I read her Trylle Trilogy, and got completely sucked in to the first two books. (SPOILER ALERT - STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED!!!!) But the third one I actually returned to Amazon because I was that angry. She set up one guy to be the hero, and he was the hero and love interest for 2 1/2 books. Then halfway through the third book she decides to make the heroine love somebody else (that we didn't even get introduced to until the end of Book 2). I'm not sure if this was meant to be a twist or to make it more realistic or something, but I was flaming angry. You have to make me pretty upset to get me to return a book (and a digital one at that!). She completely destroyed the series and undermined everything she'd done up to that point by making the heroine flaky and unlikable, having her fall for a guy who was smarmy, immoral and arrogant as opposed to the noble, selfless, moral one.

When it comes down to it, Konrath and Hocking don't care what I think. Hocking just raked in another $2 million and Konrath's made approximately $73,000 over the last six weeks. And being that big, it doesn't matter if I don't like the work that I've read.

But what about the authors that are your peers? I recently read one that I thought was not all that great. And not just in a it's not the genre I prefer or not the story I'd typically like, but as in things like characterization and writing style. How are you supposed to review a book you didn't really like all that much? You're going to hurt someone's feelings.

Things I'm liking this week:

"Breaking In" - This is a new sitcom on Fox that stars Christian Slater (finally in a role that makes full use of his charisma) and Bret Harrison (from "Reaper" - a very, very funny show that never got the audience it should have - witness this YouTube clip that still manages to make me laugh every time I see it: Reaper clip ) Anyway, back to "Breaking In" - it is seriously one of the funniest shows I've watched in a very long time. I laughed out loud through the entire show (not something I typically do). Fox has got it up on their website if you're interested.

Sam and Freddie kiss! You may not watch iCarly. Some of you, like me, may be forced into it as you have children who love this show. So I have to look for something to like (Jerry Trainor being among them - he's hilarious), and yesterday, Sam and Freddie finally kissed! The name of the episode trended worldwide on Twitter for several hours last night. I was sad that 1) I knew this and 2) that I was excited about a Seddie kiss.

Kindle - A-ma-zing. I'm pretty sure I've read more books in the last two weeks than I have in the last year. I love my Kindle. Love, love, love it. I love that there's websites that let you borrow books on your Kindle (like Lendle). I love free e-books (and sometimes publishers put books up for free/cheap for a limited time - last night I picked up Aprilynne Pike's "Wings" for free). I love inexpensive e-books. I don't so much love the prices on the more expensive books, but I do love being able to get a book right when I want it. No more waiting for something to arrive by mail, no more running down to the bookstore because I've read the first book in a series and now must read the rest. All of it right at my fingertips - and I love it! If you don't have an e-reader, I would really recommend getting one. So far, I haven't seen a downside. Other than all the money I'm now spending on books.

Anything this week that you've loved/not loved so much?


6 Comments:

At 4/11/2011 12:45 PM, Blogger Debra Erfert said...

I've never heard of people leaving church after a baby's blessing to have a party. It must only be a Utah oddity. But the Walmart thing? Its universal. Unless my husband is with me putting the bags into the cart so I can guard the debit card slide machine, the person in line behind me will always, without exception, move her cart in front of it, blocking my access until I ask her to move. Then, at that point, everyone in line behind her has to take several steps back because of that one person's inconsideration.

Interesting about the family moving from the large home into the smaller one "taking advantage of the recession". I talked to the man appraising my son's house last week, and he told me that 90% of his business is from the banks, for repossessed houses. They (the banks) in turn put the houses up for sale at 60% of the current market value and then they get the rest from the government (us), undercutting private sales. My son doesn't stand a chance of selling his home with that kind of underhanded competition. (Since we're complaining.)

On reviewing authors. I totally depend on your reviews. Not just yours, I mean, but reviews in general. I don't go to Amazon and read the inside blurb or back cover and order it, (Funny, I just realized that's the way I buy all my books) but I read reviews first. Or I get suggestions from Internet group friends who like certain titles. Mostly I stick with my favorite authors, which may seem safe, but I don't like finding myself in your situation of being angry into 2 1/2 books. I know--nothing ventured, nothing gained. But with the time you invested in Hocking's trilogy, if it sucked, then I don't want to waste my time. There are too many worthwhile stories out there waiting to be read.

I know several ladies (published authors) in my on-line critique group who will agree to read and give a review of a published book, but with a caveat. If they don’t like it, then they won’t post a negative review on their blog. It’s a simple as that. Simple? Good grief. Instead of finding a sensitive way of writing a review, they what? Shun the author? That author knows after a while when her book is never reviewed by the blogger, right? There are ways of writing a review without bashing a not-so-great book, and a good author should be able to find that way. I love chocolate. My best friend can’t stand it. What one person dislikes doesn’t necessarily mean it tastes bad to others.

 
At 4/11/2011 3:30 PM, Blogger Jenn Johansson said...

I am so going to check out "Breaking In." I thought it looked awesome, but I have been busy so I haven't seen it yet. Going to have to stop by Hulu now...

Oh! That's what I like this week - Hulu... and DVR. What did we do without it?

 
At 4/11/2011 7:57 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I love that my husband made chocolate swirl cheesecake. Mmm.

I love that some friends introduced us to a new ice cream place (well, new to us).

I love newly painted walls.

I don't love that we finished painting in a poorly lit room at night and man alive, did we ever miss a lot of spots. Lots of touch-up painting needed.

I don't love that spring break is over and now we have to get up way early again.

 
At 4/12/2011 1:11 AM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

Not just done in Utah, Debra. Same thing is done here in Idaho. I believe "party" might be a strong term, however. Usually, family and friends leave after Sacrament to have a meal together. Usually because some family members may have traveled a ways to attend the blessing.
Sariah, I love that Elder Bednar is coming to our Stake Conference this weekend (4/17) and I've been invited to offer the opening prayer. That is kind of awesome. First apostle we've had up here in several years.

There are very few things that get me down. However, one of my childhood friends passed today so that has saddened me.

Glad you're enjoying your Kindle. I have several short stories that get some downloads.

Charlie

 
At 4/12/2011 10:17 AM, Anonymous Wm Morris said...

I'm going to have to check out "Breaking In", Sariah. I completely agree with you that "Reaper" was a sadly unappreciated show.

 
At 4/12/2011 11:43 AM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

On "Breaking In" - after watching it a third time, I felt that seeing as how this is an LDS blog I should warn that there is language in this show. Just FYI.

 

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