Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Open Letter to Stephanie Meyer...

The Host: A Novel rating: 2 of 5 stars
O.K. Stephanie--I know you are a best-selling author and all, but really, I find your books as annoying as the Seeker in The Host. So I am going to give you my remedy, without your asking for it or wanting it, just like Melanie "fixed" the Seeker:

1. Edit, edit, EDIT! We don't really need to know every question the character asks in her head. (Seriously, if I'm ever laid up, bored out of my mind, I am going to count the question marks in this book.) We don't need to know the description of things that don't matter--like the precise placement of body parts when Melanie is squashed in the cave with the food--just say she was bent like a pretzel. And enough with the restating of the yearning, longing, alturistic crap--We get it already--Bella wants to be a vampire, Edward doesn't want to make her one; Wanderer will do anything for Jared and Jaimie, Ian will do anything for Wanderer,etc. etc.

2. Take a poetry class. You are very good at describing everything; but add some imagry and the words will stir the reader, more than merely informing them. "Our lids turned black, but not with death. Night had fallen, and this made us sad..." This made us sad? How about "the blackness seeped in under our eyelids and oozed through our body with a chill , knowing that even death would not come quick", something like that.

3. Grow some balls. I am as appreciative as anyone that someone out there can write a bestseller without sex, gross violence, or even the F-word, but seriously, how many raids do they go on, and nobody gets caught? The worst thing that happens is that somebody gets a self-inflicted wound? I think the story would take some interesting turns if bad things happened instead of everyone making it out o.k. What would happen if someone got captured? What if someone betrayed Melanie? What if someone (besides the old and/or fringe characters) actually died? Just saying, a good story could be great by adding some unpleasantness--opposition in all things, and all that.

Like I said, someone who has two books on the bestsellers list right now probably doesn't need any help. Your basic story ideas are fantastic, and you have a gift for writing about emotions. I just think you could be more than a pop writer...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My what big ears you have!

So I took my kid to the ENT the other day for a routine check-up. After waiting an hour and 20 minutes we finally saw the dr. who looked in my son's ears, pronounced them healing fine,(a total of 5 min.) and told us to come back in 4 months. Then, as we were leaving, he takes me aside and wonders, "Has he been teased about, you know" and he cups his hands behind his ears and flaps them. "Because I have a colleague that specializes in that--pinning them back."
"No, no. I haven't heard about anything," I reassured him, mildly shocked, and leave to make my next appointment for wasting another morning.
I say mildly shocked because this is the second time he's brought it up. The first time I was so shocked I was practically speechless. Now, I know he is just looking to drum up business and I shouldn't take it personally. My son does have bigger ears. We've commented on it before. Still I've never considered doing anything about them. I think they make him look mischievous and impish. He's never gotten any flack from his friends. But then again, he's only in preschool. Kids are still nice in preschool.
What will I do if he does get made fun of? If he had crooked teeth, I wouldn't think twice about getting him braces. If he hated his glasses I'd let him get contacts as soon as I thought he was responsible. But where should I draw the line? If my daughter had big breasts and it hindered her dream of being an athlete, or gave her back-aches, I would totally get her a breast reduction. But if she thought her breasts were too small, well, I'd tell her to learn to love herself just as she is. I'd take my kids to the dermatologist if they had acne, but should I take them to a plastic surgeon if they hate their nose? I'd let my daughter get dark hair on her upper lip lasered, but what if she had dark arm hair?
I want my kids to like who they are and of course I want to facilitate their being accepted by their peers. I remember wearing glasses and hating it so much. I'd like to think it helped me to develop my personality--like it made me rely more on my humor, or my brains, to gain acceptance. But the truth is, I felt liberated when I finally got contacts. I finally felt like I could be me. I finally felt confident and pretty. At the same time, I did learn to be more compassionate for people who looked different, to be patient (I had to wait til I was 16 to get contacts), and that life isn't always the way we wish it were. All good lessons that served me well. On the other hand, maybe I would have learned that anyway without also hating the way I looked.
Perhaps my son will never have an issue with his ears (I sincerely hope not); but I'll keep that doctor's card, just in case.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The apple

The apple posesses
a poem for a soul,
and a star in its belly.