Wednesday, September 16, 2009
We Three Kings Be Stealin' the Gold...
OK, this is not good. I have way, WAY too much to talk about today... I actually wrote out a list. My only issue now is which half of the list I'll have to put off for another day. I mean, I could write dozens of paragraphs of solid text right now... I'm in just that mood. But I guarantee, y'all would bail before long, and I would be writing for an audience of one... and even He might not make it through... so I will simply pick a place at random to start, sprinkle in a pic and video or two, and hope for the blessed.
I'm 120+ pages into the first Mistborn book (Brandon Sanderson) and I love it. It's night and day different from my experience with The Talisman, and I've been pondering why. I think I've boiled it down primarily to the undercurrent, or the feel, if you will. I noticed the Sanderson book has a similar "world in peril" scenario, typical of the genre, but it's handled with a levity and lightness that is at the same time rich and textured. There's an underlying feel of mischievous nose-thumbing by the characters toward the evil Lord Ruler's Empire, as well as by the author to the reader -- and to the fantasy genre itself. It is literally a joy to read, and discover the major players in what promises to be a terrific tale.
Contrast The Talisman, where reading it felt like I had a weight attached to... what? My soul? It was a dark and oppressive read, with characters that I didn't feel rang with any sort of authenticity, and as a result, it was hard to form any sort of bond with them. Oppressive is a good word for it, I think... I'm trying to come up with an analogy... I guess it would be like King pointing out a hilltop and saying, "You need to double-time it up that trail, and here, carry this backpack full of stones, too." As opposed to Sanderson, who pulls up on a dirtbike, saying "Get on, and hang on."
I guess I'm getting a little melodramatic, sorry. It's just really nice to find a writer that writes the way I want to write: fast, fun, rich, real. Even Patrick Rothfuss is different - and I loved the Rothfuss book - Pat's writing (in The Name of the Wind) is refined and polished, with beautiful language... reading his book is like eating a really nice, expensive meal. Sanderson is like eating a ton of your favorite food in the world...
OK, I've sufficiently gone overboard. Hard to imagine I could come to such conclusions after 120 pages of one book, eh? lol. Well, I have a book on writing called The First Five Pages that contends a book agent can tell all he needs to about an author by reading the first five pages of one of his/her novels. The book tells you all the things that book agents, writing coaches and editors look for from the beginning of a script that make or break it - it's actually a fascinating book about the craft.
OK, Picture/Video Break...
Eldest Daughter went shooting with her good friend Cole today. Cole's family got a new semi-automatic rifle of some kind (he told me, but I didn't write it down, so of course the info immediately evaporated from my brainpan)...
She's been shooting more times than I have now... I'll have to fix that... here's video proof.
A month or two ago, I read about a young man in the Air Force (named Colton Read) who's life dream was to serve his country. He went through the necessary training and was qualified and ready to ship out on his first deployment overseas. Before he headed out, he went into the hospital for a relatively routine surgery - something with his gall bladder, if memory serves. He was going to be in and out, recover, and then deploy with his unit. During the surgery, the doctor nicked his aortic valve, and didn't catch it until he'd lost a lot of blood. He wasn't a vascular surgeon, so he couldn't fix it himself. By the time they could get Read to a qualified heart surgeon, his life was saved, but the circulation had been lost to his legs, and when he woke up from the near-death surgery, his legs had been amputated.
The doctor admitted it was human error, but because of a long-standing law, Read can't sue... it's a law that was initially meant to protect the military against soldiers wounded in combat suing if medics in the field made an error in a field hospital. This guy's dream is over before it began, and there's no legal recourse. The doctor just shrugged his shoulders and walked off. Read will get a $1200/month military pension, and that's that.
I can't imagine a more heartbreaking, infuriating story. What get's me most about stories like this is that, for everyone outside his immediate circle, life goes on... a quick "that's awful," a shrug of the shoulders, and people quickly forget. I don't know if it's possible for it to be any other way... it's still maddening. Why did I choose to share this tonight? It rose to the surface of my brain while I was pondering other things, and I wrote it on my list, that's why. I still think of this guy now and then since I first read it, simmering that I can't do anything about it. I guess mentioning it here might result in a couple of you also occasionally remembering him and throwing a quick prayer up for him and his family.
Well, now that you are all also thoroughly depressed, I better hypocritically post a funny video to take your mind off of it.
But I have nothing to give you. My hands are empty.
Ahh, there we go! Now we can move on! O_o
I watched a couple more episodes of No Reservations tonight. Great show. I guess I'll drop another season into my Queue and get the discs.
I just wrote out two long sections on two different topics and then erased them in disgust. And now, I just feel like stopping. I'm sorry tonight's post was so odd... I guess I just need to read, hit the sack, regroup and hit it again tomorrow. So much stuff to talk about, I guess the weight of it all caused me to implode. I am done.
I hope to be back to my normal manic, flighty self tomorrow. Until then, remember, the only way to win this war is to be as nasty as the enemy.