Basically, I’ve Always Been a Stubborn Ass

iotbdI have no idea what prompted me to pick up Island of the Blue Dolphins yesterday.  I was in the middle of something else, and for whatever reason thought “HEY, LET’S RE-READ THAT BOOK THAT TRAUMATIZED YOU IN THE FOURTH GRADE!”

Yes, that’s right, I said TRAUMATIZED.

I should explain.  It wasn’t so much the book itself that traumatized me, it was the stupid book report I had to write to go with it.

I was in the GATE program from the first grade on.  But I still didn’t really give a shit about school work.  I mostly did the minimum I could to get by and then made up for it with extra credit.  This served me well throughout my entire school career.

Except for that gorgeous late spring weekend when I was in the fourth grade.

It was hot enough for us to be using the pool that weekend, but my dad and step-mom were away, so I was under the rule of my step-sisters who were 15 and 17.

V, the older of the two didn’t really care whether I had my homework done, but H decided that since she was partially in charge that she was going to be the heavy.

I’d picked this book cos I’d read it several times and figured I could get the report done in half an hour, then spend the rest of the day playing in the pool.

H had other plans, though.  She was a freshman in high school, so of course she knew everything.  My report (which would have received at least a B+ if I’d handed it into Mrs Miller) was NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

No, I had to talk about THEME!

I had to EXPAND on my THOUGHTS!

I had to make this something suitable for handing in as if I were in high school, and I was not okay with this.

I distinctly remember thinking “WTF does she mean, ‘theme’????”

I grabbed my pocket dictionary and looked it up, and that was no help.

So I just started making shit up, when all I really wanted to do was talk about how cool it must’ve been to be living on an island all by yourself without bossy step-sisters telling you what to do all the damn time.

I went through half a notebook worth of paper that Saturday, I re-wrote the entire thing every time I took it to her and it was NEVER GOOD ENOUGH.

So I never got to play in the pool and I was pretty pissed.

fuck this shit

I realize now that she was just fucking with me, and so I’m glad I decided to just hand in my original draft.  But I’m still pissed that I didn’t get to spend my day swimming.

I HOLD GRUDGES FOR A LONG TIME, OKAY?

AAAAAAAAAAANYWAY

I re-read the book yesterday, not sure what I was expecting.  In the years since fourth grade, I’ve looked up information on the internet about the Lost Woman of San Nicolas, and her story is even sadder than it’s portrayed in the book.

Island of the Blue Dolphins is kind of a feel good story for kids about overcoming adversity (HA!  There’s your theme, H!).  Yeah, she’s left behind and her little brother gets killed by wild dogs (which is surprisingly glossed over) so she’s alone for 18 years on this island with pretty much no one for company, but this chick gets shit done!

She was Ayla before Ayla, IYKWIM.

But the real woman this story was based on was considerably older (she’s described as being ~50 when rescued, not the 30 year old our protagonist would have been), so that makes a lot more sense as to how she could be so self-sufficient.

I mean, when I was a kid (and even as an adult), when I think of being dropped into a survival situation like this I think I’d pretty much just nope the fuck on off this mortal coil cos I know there’s just no way.

cats_nope_ing_the_fck_out-42846

What do you think?  Could you have survived by yourself for 18 years with only wild dogs, cormorants and otters for company?  Or would you basically just tell the wild dogs to come at you, bro, cos it’s faster than sleeping to death?

An Open Letter to George R “Not [my] Bitch” R Martin

George –

I know you’re not my bitch.  You are not my dancing monkey (which is a good thing cos monkeys are fucking scary as hell).  This is not a letter asking you where the hell The Winds of Winter is.  This is not a letter asking you to please write faster.

I’m used to waiting.  I waited 16 years to finish reading The Dark Tower, but some people had a 20+ year wait so as far as I’m concerned, you’ve got some time coming to you.

No, I’m concerned about this.

Eight books, George?  EIGHT?!

nope

I don’t…

[pinches bridge of nose]

Remember when you wrote the afterword to A Feast for Crows and said this:

All the rest of the characters you love or love to hate will be along next year (I devoutly hope) in A Dance With Dragons.

And then you got all caught up in the Meereenese Knot and we had to wait SIX YEARS for the next one?  Remember that?

I’m sure you do, cos no one will ever let you forget it.

Now.  I’m not saying that I want you to write faster (although I’d love it if maybe you finished the story you want to tell before I have to hear about how you ended it from the stupid show that I REFUSE TO WATCH UNTIL AFTER YOU FINISH THE DAMN BOOKS OR ARE DEAD), but I’d like to know that you have more than just the endgame plotted out.

I’d like to not read things like this:

Don’t write outlines; I hate outlines. I have a broad sense of where the story is going; I know the end, I know the end of the principal characters, and I know the major turning points and events from the books, the climaxes for each book, but I don’t necessarily know each twist and turn along the way. That’s something I discover in the course of writing and that’s what makes writing enjoyable. I think if I outlined comprehensively and stuck to the outline the actual writing would be boring.

ZOMFGWTAFBBQ?!

George, this is like when I learned that the writers of Alias were just making that shit up as they went along.

This is my new reaction photo for when I just. can't. even.

This is my new reaction photo for when I just. can’t. even.

I just…I honestly don’t even know where I’m going with this anymore.

George – you don’t need 3 more books to tell your story.  What you need is to send off the manuscript pages you have now and have them published as a novella.  Then give us a novella or two a year until you’re done.  At least that way we won’t all be worrying that the tv show is going to spoil things for us (y’know – SINCE YOU ALREADY FUCKING TOLD THEM HOW IT ENDS).

(Or just email me to let me know if R+L=J and who wins the damn throne.  I’ll keep your secret, promise.)

Oh, you also need to start taking better care of yourself and get on a decent cardio program.  I’d hate to learn you keeled over into a wheel of brie.

xoxo