The Princess Detective: a narrative break

The townspeople dream of killing the wolves. The wolves, able to do as they please, dream of very little.

Every few years to town sends a fighter to challenge a wolf. Sometimes the wolf allows the fighter to live. But the Prince was no fighter. He had no reason to approach the wolves.

The wolves, the townspeople concluded, must have approached him. The more the townspeople talk about it, the more convinced they become that promises were made and broken. Everyone knows you can’t trust wolves. How, they wondered, did the Prince forget this basic truth of their lives?

Another truth of their lives that they were quite keen to remind the Princess of at every opportunity was chosen to find the truth. They waited for her to do her job. When she walked into a room, they looked at her expectantly.

The Princess realized the moment the crown was placed on her head that while she was expected to find the truth, nothing in the all of the documents and scriptures of the town said that she had to share it.

The Writer Games

In front of a live audience, write until you drop dead. The last one writing gets a book deal.

What do you think?

Have you read The Hunger Games? I don’t want to link to it lest I end up with too many people over here. Seriously.

I haven’t read it or seen the film. I’ve decided to read the books, but doubt I’ll see the movie. The idea of the story is depressing enough without adding visuals.

Anyway, I don’t know why I care, but there is this argument going around the Internet that I find annoying. A friend of mine recently stated that he wasn’t going to see The Hunger Games because it was a copy of Battle Royale. Copied? Was it? Well, I had to know more about that. We (as in we writers) try so hard to be original, it is maddening to see someone copy and end up with a best seller.

So I search for reviews, interviews, and whatever else. But after reading several pieces about the stories, I have to say I don’t believe Suzanne Collins copied the Japanese movie. If you disagree, please keep insults to yourself.

But I find I’m really, really irritated about this whole brouhaha over nothing.

I’ve seen comments that go something like this, “I haven’t read The Hunger Games, but I’ve heard it’s a rip off of Battle Royale, so I’m not going to.” Yes, letting hearsay form your opinions is always a good idea.

And this, “Battle Royale came out ten years ago–before The Hunger Games.” Okay. Valid observation. But Collins says she never heard of Battle Royale. Is she lying? One friend said, “People will say anything for fame and money.” Sure. But Collins dislikes media attention and there’s nothing about her lifestyle to indicate she’s all about the money. And not to point out the obvious, but if you’re all about money, writing a YA novel may not be the best choice. And I don’t call people liars without proof.

And until the other day I hadn’t even heard of Battle Royale. Well, it’s Japanese and had a limited release here in the States. I’m not sure why people assume Collins has heard of it. It’s not exactly like she’s said she didn’t know they’d made a movie of Titanic.

I also fail to see what is so amazingly unique about Battle Royale that someone else couldn’t come up with a similar idea all on her own. Am I to believe that in the whole of the world and history, only one person can come up with the idea of young people killing each other for sport? Anyone with a passing knowledge of Greek myth, Lord of the Flies, and reality TV would have a chance of imagining just such a plot. People come up with similar story ideas every single day. Anyone who writes should know this. You write something, and then–presto!–you come across something that is basically your idea. Was it stolen? No. I guess, it’s unfortunate Joseph Campbell isn’t around to ask about myth and collective storytelling.

And finally, am I to agree that only one version of any story can exist? If that is the case, then a lot of people better put down their pens. Battle Royale has a male lead (from what I’ve read about the plot). It is Japanese. So that’s it? No one else can tell their perspective on such a story? You know what, Romeo and Juliet has been written, so please, no more star-crossed romances. What else. Oh, no more stories aliens invading earth. No more assassination stories. No more war stories. No more man vs nature stories. Sorry. Been done. We should have a Only-One Rule. That would save us all a lot of trouble.

Have you ever known anyone who loves a particular band until that bands gets popular. Suddenly they don’t like that band anymore. They accuse the band of selling out. Or they look down at those Johnny-come-latelies as not real fans. Some smug nonsense in that. I hear a similar tone in some comments–they’re so cool as to know Battle Royale before the rabble, anything else pales in comparison. I’ve seen a few comments by people who love BR and are angry that only is it getting more distribution here in the States. Can they be pleased that THG has given their film some attention? No.

You could also read this post about the whole kerfuffle. I found it level-headed.

I’ve been trying to understand why this issue bothers me so much when I’ve no vested interest in either. Maybe I’m worried (hopeful!) it could be me. Maybe the novel sitting in my hard drive has already been done and I don’t know it. I’d like not to be raked across coals by people who don’t know anything about my work or me.

What sort of literary ruckus do you care about?

The Full Mind Way

I’ve heard a lot about living a mindful life, and I’m all for it. Really. Make an effort.

That said, what I think I’m experiencing is a full mind life.

My mind is full. I don’t mean in a great mind sort of way. Symphonies and cures are not banging up against each other in there. No plan to save or take over the world. No.

My mind is full of do-stuff lists, annoyances, things I need to say or should’ve said, projects, memories, random crap, and a few worthwhile notions. If brains are like junk closets then my junk closet is in the house of someone about to be invaded by cameras for reality TV. “Just look at what is still in here!”

Please note I said TV crew not police. My junk closet isn’t that bad.

Well, actually it may not even be that interesting, but it is that cluttered.

Anyway, one thing rattling around a lot lately is irritation. I have wasted more time getting annoyed with and debating with people on facebook than normal. I find that I read something–and I can’t let it go. Usually I roll my eyes at things and shrug. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I’m wrong as often as anyone else.

But I’m angrier these days. Frustrated with the world. It’s ridiculous because no one is going to change the world with a facebook comment. I hate to argue with people. I hate to make people mad at me.

And yet…

Are you someone who likes to argue or who avoids argument no matter what? How do you argue–to their face on in status threads? Do you think arguing is useful or a waste of time?

Doesn’t every family have a crazy person in the attic?

Okay, my family doesn’t have an attic. And the word crazy gets tossed around much too easily.

Still, family has its challenges, and certainly every family member might should be locked in an attic for a while from time to time. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Sometimes I suspect I’m the one who should be in the attic…it’s probably quiet up there.

So, a particular someone in my family has a debilitating disease. This person doesn’t know I have a blog–and probably doesn’t even know what a blog is–but in the off chance I’m wrong about that, this story will be as convoluted as possible.

I’m not supposed to know this person is sick. Every time I talk to this person, I must act as if everything is fine. I know about the illness because someone else felt that I had a right to know, but that someone made me promise not to reveal that I know the truth.

In some ways, this makes life easy. I don’t have to figure out what to say or wonder what I should do to help. But then that someone tells me this person has stopped taking their medication. Just stopped. But I don’t know that, of course, so I can’t say, “Take your medicine!”

I ask, “How are you doing?”

This person says, “I’m fine. I had a cold.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I went to the doctor. Everything’s good!”

Do you ever have fake conversations with your family?