I was going to blog about going to the World Fantasy Convention next week, but now I'm not even sure I want to go. Sure, it's just an hour away this year, and I could try to meet some agents and editors and try to do some networking. But honestly, I just don't know enough about these conventions to justify spending $165 to attend. You can't even really give them samples of your work, because it's considered bad ettiquette. You're supposed to send them through the mail like everyone else. From what I can gather about programming, it mostly consists of authors reading from their own works for three days, and I can think of nothing more BORING than being read to. I got over that when I learned to read by myself, thanks. What's more, to attend the yearly awards banquet is an extra $55. If I'm already paying almost $200 to attend a convention, the banquet should not only be free, they better have a fucking throne for me to sit on.
I'm thinking my time would be better served by preparing myself for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which is November 1-30. I really want to use it to write the bulk of my fantasy wrestling novel (now there's a genre that hasn't been done yet) Babyface Fire. It follows the adventures of Loebo Anders and Bleg, two characters who appeared in my first Geffia novel The Adventure Tournament. Basically, Loebo finds out about a bounty put on his head and takes refuge with BOWW, the biggest wrestling promotion in Bolognia and somehow ends up in one of their angles. He tours with them, while the rest of the Chosen Squad try to diffuse the situation behind his bounty. I also have an idea for a novel starring another member of Team Bowel from the Adventure Tournament, Marie the Lock Collector. But I may need some outside help with research, since I'm not sure how to write for a teenage girl, having never been one myself. (My junior high wrestling coaches may beg to differ.)
In celebration of watching the Ronin Fox Trax iRiff of Dune (http://www.rifftrax.com/iriffs/ronin-fox-trax... check 'em out, I'm a part-time member as well and I've co-starred in three of his riffs) I've decided to reread the novel for the first time in ten years. It's fairly easy to see why this story doesn't adapt to the screen very well. It's very introspective, there are a lot of off-screen politics and action is not very prevalent. This did not translate well to the screen. Not even Sting and Patrick Stewart could save it. And this was the theatrical cut, which somehow felt longer than the extended cut, which was a full hour longer in length but did help salvage the film quite a bit. I remember marking certain passages in my book in pencil when I first read it in high school, because unlike the other genre fiction I was reading I considered this to be literature on the level of something that would be read in an English class, like Frankenstein or Paradise Lost. Nowadays I just consider it entertaining genre fiction by a guy who was very good at coming up with deep, philosophical phrases and knows more big words than I know.
Actually, I have a story about Paradise Lost. I had an English class in college devoted wholly to that book. I found it completely unintelligible, one of the most painful things I ever had to read, right up there with Jane Eyre. (Fuck you, Bronte sisters; I hope wherever you are now, you looked down, or up, and saw us defile and shred Jim's copy of JE back in high school. I'd do it again and do it on your grave.) Anyway, the pain caused by Milton is sort of like the literary equivalent to watching Highlander 2. This class was capped off by a research paper, which I procrastinated on, big surprise, until the night before it was due. Still having only a marginal inkling of what was going on in this story, it took me six hours to write six pages of the greatest bullshit I've ever written. I never knew what I got on the paper, but I got a B for the class, and since this was 50% of the grade, I guess that means I did pretty well. And this wasn't some teacher's aide teaching the course who didn't know how to filter out bullshit. The class was taught by the head of the English department.
So here's my advice to college students who find themselves in that same situation: just bullshit it. Seriously. They say they can tell if it's bullshit. They can't. Not if you have any kind of creativity whatsoever. Come up with a bullshit hypothesis and some bullshit evidence to support it and you're gold. (Somehow my BSs are outnumbering my F bombs in this entry. This is rare.) I guarantee* you'll at least pass.
This last bit is about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and let me preface this by saying that I have nothing against what is, in fact, a good cause. (In other words, be prepared to be pissed the fuck OFF.) What I do have something against, is the intrusiveness of this media campaign on my life. Facebook friends putting pink ribbons on their profiles or turning their pictures pink in support of this cause is fine. Holding marathons and rallies are fine. These are voluntary events that I don't have to attend if I choose not to. But when the fucking newspaper puts out a pink edition that looks like it got left in with the dark wash and is basically rendered unreadable because of it, and solicitors show up at my door to bother me, I've got a bit of a problem. "We're not here to solicit donations, we just want you to spend $8 on two months' worth of useless coupons." Fuck you. In my book, that's a solicitation, even if it's not the technical definition of one. Don't fucking lie to me, at least be honest about what you're doing. And I'm not cheering on disease and misery here. If I had a money tree I'd be the first to donate to this as well as many other worthy causes. But I don't, so don't try to coax me into it at my own door, especially by rattling off a list of names of people who have decided to help out, since I have not a clue who any of these people are. Again, I'm not saying breast cancer awareness is bad, just that some of it results in some very counterproductive bullshit. I guess the point I'm trying to get across here is there are many causes worth trumpeting. Donate to them, support them... just don't be completely retarded about it.
And with that last statement, my Political Incorrectness Scale has been tipped, so I'm out of here. Join me next week and maybe I'll rail against starving children or mock the homeless.
*Any guarantees may be bullshit.