Showing posts from June, 2014

Cephalopod Coffee House: 'Salem's Lot

Apparently, I forgot to officially sign up for the Cephalopod Coffee House this month, so I’m not on the Linky list for it. However, to keep myself on schedule, and because I took the time to actually read a book this month, I’m going to go ahead and tell you about. Click on the picture above for a full list of participants.

This month, I read Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King. I found this paperback in a box of books at work several months ago, and I picked it up. This thing has a price sticker from a thrift store on it, and it obviously has seen better days. I knew I’d read the book before, but it was a long, long, long time ago, but all I remembered was the scene in which a hog tied young boy has to escape his bonds and get out of a locked room. Needless to say, it was pretty much like reading it fresh.

‘Salem’s Lot is a classic. It was King’s second published novel, and it debuts his vision of small town Maine, where people are born, raised and die within 20 square miles, everybody knows everybody, and outsiders are not trusted. However no one says “Ayuh,” the lack of which disappoints me. I guess that little tick didn’t show up until later.

Reading Salem’s Lot, I was struck by its similarities to Dracula, by Bram Stoker. I read that book last year (FYI, if you’re in for horror, and haven’t read it, the first half of that book is incredibly spooky and awesome). There were certainly analogues with Barlow obviously being the famous vampire, Ben Mears as Jonathan Harker, Susan Norton as Mina Harker, and Matt Burke standing in for Abraham Van Helsing so hard it hurts. All of this appears to be deliberate as Wikipedia tells me that King was directly inspired by Dracula.

Dracula analogues aside, ‘Salem’s Lot is very much a novel of its time, even when taking into account there are no cell phones, no computers, no iPads and people let their kids walk through the woods at night (scandalous in this day and age). I was born a few years after the book was published, so I don’t have any firsthand experience, but Stephen King seemed to be seeing the dreams of the sixties being crushed in the seventies. However, despite the book being older than me, it doesn’t feel dated. Except for all characters’ negative feelings towards homosexuality. That was a weirdly specific detail that kept tripping me up. It didn’t feel like they were King’s feelings, but something that he was seeing a lot of at the time, and he just made it a trait of every single character in the book. Google tells me that the Gay Rights movement was just taking off at the time, so I guess that was a thing on a lot of people’s minds at the time?

I got a little off topic there, and this is going on a little long, so if you’re going to TL/DR this, my main points are 1) ‘Salem’s Lot holds up after 40 years, 2) it’s the prototype for many Stephen King novels to come.

IWSG: June

Welcome to the Insecure Writers Support Group. IWSG meets on the first Wednesday of every month to discuss the ups and downs of being a writer, air our insecurities and offer support to others. Click on the pick above for a full list of participants.

This month, I’m back to school for the summer term. I’m only taking two classes so I should have a little more time for myself and writing. I’m working on a new WIP (been working on it for a couple of weeks) and I’m trying not to get too worked up about how fast it’s moving. Because it’s moving at an agonizing pace. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m writing (fun fact: I had an idea, but no plot, then I dreamed the whole middle section of the novel, and remembered to write it down the next morning, so I’ve got about 75 percent of the plot down), but when I sit down to write, I can only get about two or three pages (handwritten) done before I feel mentally exhausted by the effort. The writing isn’t even that good – I’m not shooting for good right now – but this is a specific world I’m going to and I think that the energy I’m using to put myself in that place, and in my character’s head is just draining me.
I’ve gone back to handwriting my first drafts, because that is the easiest way for me to write. Maybe it’s a muscle memory, considering that I’m old enough to have not used a computer or even a typewriter through much of my youth. A quick Google search seems to show that it is a generational thing. Younger people seem to like to type more than us olds.

How do you prefer to write? Are you one of those whipper-snappers who like to type, or a mature, sophisticated handwriter?

Inspiration Monday Fail

So, I'm sitting at work this afternoon, daydreaming about Friday rolling around, and I realized that I missed my Inspiration Monday post.

I actually don't have an inspiration this month, so to just keep me on schedule, I'm going to do a random post today. Haven't done one of those in a while.

 I recently discovered the greatest thing on the interwebs. Whenever I feel down, I can just totally misunderstand the words to O Fortuna (like I ever understood them in the first place):
 So that's my post for today. See you tomorrow for an equally pointless IWSG.