Archive for November, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey (Photo credit: ellebnere)

E. L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, was highly anticipated to be in this year’s most dreaded yet coveted prize have failed to make the shortlist.

The bad sex prize was established “to draw attention to the crude and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel – and to discourage it”.

The Literary Review‘s senior editor, Jonathan Beckman, who oversees the contest, explains that the Fifty Shades trilogy is not eligible “because the prize’s rubric explicitly excludes pornographic and erotic literature.”

He added: “I don’t think she needs any more publicity, does she?”

The shortlist includes:

Tom Wolf’s Back to Blood

Nicola Barker‘s The Yips

Nicholas Coleridge‘s The Adventuress

Nancy Huston‘s Infrared

Paul Maon’s Rare Earth

Ben Master’s Noughties

Sam MillsThe Quiddity of Will Self . This is a noteworthy nomination, since Self’s own fiction has been shortlisted on three occasions.

Craig Raine‘s The Divine Comedy.

The winner will be announced at a lavish ceremony in London next month. Apparently, among the literati,  it is considered a badge of courage for the authors to attend to receive it in person.

Here are some choice excerpts:

The Quiddity of Wilf Self, by Sam Mills: Down, down, on to the eschatological bed. Pages chafed me; my blood wept onto them. My cheek nestled against the scratch of paper. My cock was barely a ghost, but I did not suffer panic.

Rare Earth by Paul Mason: He began thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum, but missing — his paunchy frame shuddering with the efford of remaining rigid and upside down.

 

 

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Meditation

If you keep your heart transparent

you will never be bound.

But one disturbing thought creates

ten thousand distractions.

If you let many things capture your

attention you’ll go astray.

How painful it is to see people so

wrapped up in themselves!

~ Ryokayayana

Useful post for writers who want a synopsis of the different POVs and narrative styles. I highly recommend it!

Typewriter

The Daily Post

“Point of view” or “narrative mode” describes the pronouns used when writing a story. At the most basic level, the points of view can be broken down as follows:

POV Pronouns
First person I, we
Second person you
Third person he, she, it, they

View original post 1,009 more words

This was one piece of advice I was given and have, in turn, given:

Should you desire great tranquility,
prepare to sweat white beads.

~ Hakuin

English: Tranquility by the Lake Bohinj

Fifty Shades of Grey Toys Picture Source: hypable.com

Mention E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and most people would either gasp in delight or groan out loud. Or, if they have been ensconced in an ivory tower or desert island far from any broadsheet, radio programme and the water-cooler chatter, you might receive a quizzical look.

Initially appearing on fanfiction.net as a Twilight Fan Fiction Master of the Universe it has since taken on a life in the publishing world when it was published as Fifty Shades of Grey. Love it or loathe it, Fifty Shades of Grey is now regarded as a modern publishing phenomenon and one of the bestselling book in British history. Dubbed “mummy porn”, the erotic book has now sold in excess of 5.3 million copies in ebook and print. The second and third books, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, are also selling fast. UK sales are in excess of 3.6m and 3.2m respectively and combined UK sales for the trilogy are over 12m copies, with rights to the book sold around the world and published in languages including Polish, Albanian, Chinese, Russian, Serbian and Vietnamese.

E.L. James - Vijftig tinten donkerder

However, critics have not welcomed the book with the same unbridled enthusiasm as E.L. James’ fans. For instance, in his recent article in the London Review of Books, Andre O’Hagen described the “mummy porn” books as a “multi-million-selling contributor to the art of terrible writing about sex”.

He continues: “300-page gala of repetitive sex, most of it – give or take a few smacks on the arse – completely conventional. I suspect the book has taken the world’s mums by storm because there’s no mess on the carpet and there are hot showers afterwards. Everybody is comfortable and everybody is clean: they travel first-class, the rich give presents, the man uses condoms, and everything dark is resolved in a miasma of cuddles.”

Andre O’Hagen added: “It’s not that Fifty Shades of Grey and EL James’s other tie-me-up-tie-me-down spankbusters read as if feminism never happened: they read as if women never even got the vote.”

However, while it may be on the bestselling list, Fifty Shades of Grey is also on another list. It appears that E.L. James’ erotic novel is also the book that Britons are most likely to leave behind in their hotel room.

According to Travelodge, the budget hotel chain, around 7,000 copies of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey have been recovered from its rooms since its release earlier this year.

Apparently, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett; Stephen Fry’s The Fry Chronicles; and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by John Le Carre, made the top 20 of books left behind in hotel rooms.

Cover of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

                     Books left behind

1. Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James
2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo     Stieg Larsson
3. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest Stieg Larsson
4. Fifty Shades Freed E.L. James
5. The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
6. The Girl Who Played With Fire Stieg Larsson

7. Fifty Shades Darker E.L. James
8. Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
9. Mockingjay Suzanne Collins
10. The Help Kathryn Stockett
11. One Day David Nicholls
12. A Tiny Bit Marvellous Dawn French
13. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography Steve Jobs
14. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
15. The Brightest Star In The Sky Marian Keyes
16. The Fry Chronicles Stephen Fry
17. Room Emma Donoghue
18. StrengthsFinder 2.0 Tom Rath
19. The Confession John Grisham
20. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy John Le Carre

Personally, I can’t imagine leaving behind Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy much less The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. However, with Fifty Shades of Grey

Posted: November 28, 2012 by gustafhesse in Uncategorized

I really should have paid more attention to this NaBloPoMo.

The WordPress.com Blog

As November wanes, we’re nearing the end of the 13th National Blog Posting Month, better known as NaBloPoMo. Every single day, participants are firing up their blogs and writing on every topic under the sun in a marathon of self-expression. Are you one of them? If you are looking for more background or inspiration, this is the post for you.

____________________________________________

Across WordPress.com this month, NaBloPoMo bloggers have been writing about . . .

The importance of hanging on

As with every creative challenge, the key to a successful NaBloPoMo is stamina, determination, and a cool head. If you are looking for an apt analogy, try rock-climbing, courtesy of “A Good Day” from A Month of Mindful Blogging:

 

Power, technique and fitness all play their part but reigning supreme over them all is the climber’s head. Fact: your technique goes to pot if your head is not…

View original post 1,046 more words

Twilight Saga -Breaking Dawn - "End & Beg...

Yesterday, I wrote about fan fiction. While updating the post, I stumbled across a strange and wonderful world of fan art. They range from Twilight and Southern Vampire Mysteries fan fic banners. While I’m familiar with these, I also encountered fan art inspired by Spock and Kirk, most of which were inspired by a scene in Star Trek.

This scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture ...

The enthusiasm that Star Trek fans  have for a Spock and Kirk pairing is such that a weird and wonderful world exists out there where the Spock/Kirk pairing have inspired ‘slash’ homoerotic fan fiction and assorted fan art.

Cowboy Kirk and Indian Spock

Cowboy Kirk and Indian Spock (Photo credit: joeltelling)

Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries have also inspired thousands of fan fiction on fanfiction.net.  The banners that accompany these stories are some of the most accomplished I have seen. These banners and SVM fan art give professional graphic designers a run for their money.

Eric Northman - beautiful undead

Eric Northman – beautiful undead (Photo credit: katmary)

Eric & Sookie "My Biggest Regret"-Tr...

Eric & Sookie “My Biggest Regret”-True Blood Fan Art Wallpaper (Photo credit: Mystic Soul Fan Art)

Here’s an example of the talented banner maker, Ange de l’aube.

Which is your favourite fandom? Your favourite pairing? Your favourite banners and banner artist? Let me know!

Here comes the bride: fan art of Edward and Bella
Picture source: twitarded

Lately, Fan Fiction is in the spotlight because EL James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, admitted that she learned her writing chops writing Twilight fan fiction before she converted the names Bella and Edward to Anastasia and Christian Grey. What happened next is a publishing phenomenon which has taken trade publishers and Twilight fans by surprise. Judging from the number of fan fiction authors who have been published recently, for example, Tara Sue Me who is the latest example, publishers appear to believe they have found in fan fiction a new route to increasing their profit margins and are now no doubt scouring the slush piles in sites such as fanfiction.net for the next big thing.

But we should not forget that fan fiction is a craze that’s almost as old as writing itself. Just think The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, for instance.

One does wonder how those readers who still read books regard fan fiction. Are they sneery about these sites?

However, it is undoubted that  fan fiction – particularly its erotic-heavy along with its slash fiction strands – is a self-publishing phenomenon where amateur and aspiring authors write stories about the characters they are obsessed with. Just looking at the numbers of Twilight fan fics that are and have been published and the plethora of slash fan fiction that are written, for example, in homage of Spock/Captain Picard, it’s a phenomenon. If trade publishing is the tip of the iceberg, then fan fiction must be the vast unexplored world of a self-publishing phenomenon.

Desert Heat – Spock and Kirk by Gayle Feyrer Picture source: guardian.co.uk

It is a dark genre where Eric Northman and Sookie is depicted in bdsm Southern Vampire Fiction fics  and where Spock and Draco are ‘shipped’ in Alternate Universe slash fics.

Despite the successes of EL James and others who are following in her footsteps, a misconception remains that fan fiction is just silly girls’ fantasies scrawled on the underbelly of the internet. I suspect Fifty Shades of Grey has done little to rescue the reputation of the genre.

But here’s the counter-argument: most fan fiction is a rejection of the normative version of sexuality. Fan fiction offers a more honest way, if sometimes radical and wayward platforms to engage with and negotiate relationships, sex and gendered power relations.

Perhaps, another way of viewing fan fiction is that it offers a test bed to cut one’s teeth in writing. It offers anonymity and help aspiring writers to become better writers, and allowing them to explore sexuality in a ways which depart from the norms dictated by the Hollywood industrial complex, light entertainment industry and dominant forms of popular culture.

What do you think of fan fiction? Let me hear your thoughts!

Picture source for Twilight fan art : twitarded 

Picture source for Spock/Picard fan art: guardian.co.uk