Would you rather…Read or Watch?

Today’s blog post is going to cover the topic of Book Versus Movie/Television. The reason for this debate (or rather, why I have my panties in a twist) is because I watched the new TV Series ‘Midnight, Texas’ based off the book series by Charlaine Harris.

Let me first give you some background info: I read all the Sookie Stackhouse books and watched one or two episodes of True Blood on HBO.  (I probably would have watched more, but we didn’t get HBO at the time because we’re too cheap to pay for it and now I’m too lazy to rent the series on DVD).  I have read NONE of the Midnight, Texas books.  Evidently there are three books in the series.

So I DVR’d the Midnight, Texas television show and decided I’d give it a chance. I knew I liked the author and I love shows with a paranormal element.  After the first fifteen minutes I was hooked.  The show started with a whopper of an action scene and immediately grabbed my attention.  However, my mind began to wander as the episode progressed and I felt like I was missing out on valuable information that was most likely in the book, but cut out of the television show in order to save on time.  In the end, I decided that I’d be better off just reading the books and not waiting for a whole season of shows to find out what happens.

This brings me to our topic of today…do you all agree with me? Would you rather read a story and picture it in your head as the drama unfolds…or would you rather let it play out on television or at the movie theater?  I would honestly have to say that I prefer the books in 90% of situations.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane for some prime examples of stuff I’ve read and then watched.

Example #1   THE STAND by STEPHEN KING.  This is my favorite book in the history of books.  The man tells a narrative and sets a scene like nobody’s business.  I didn’t feel the miniseries did it justice.

Example #2 The Twilight Series.  By the time the fourth book was released, I had seen the movie and couldn’t help but picture Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward and Bella.  The fact that they were both in the tabloids every five seconds kind of removed some of the excitement of the story for me.

Example #3 Fifty Shades of Grey. I suffered through all the books (yes, Anastasia, please bite your lip ONE MORE TIME) and had no real desire to see Mr. Grey make a brooding ‘I want to spank you’ face for two hours on film.  But…we had free HBO that weekend, so I DVR’d it anyway.  (Yes, I have a problem with watching TV live in real time.  I like to DVR stuff so I can fast forward.  I hate commercials and have a short attention span!)  Wow.  I ended up skipping most of the sex scenes and laughing every time Christian Grey scowled.

Example #4  Harry Potter.  This is the one exception to the rule of my preference for books over movies.  I would have to say that both of them were equally mesmerizing. While it’s true that I prefer to picture the characters in my head, and it’s always a disappointment when the actors cast in the role do not match up, I have no problem with Harry, Hermione, or Ron.  I think JK Rowling did such an amazing job with her world building and stayed true to her characters.

I guess there’s nothing quite like the feeling when you’re totally engrossed in a good book, transported to another world, and get so absorbed that you block out everything going on in real life. I can do that a lot easier when I’m reading than when I’m watching.

That’s just my opinion, but I’m interested to know what you think of the topic.  What movies did you find to be better than the books?

Til next time….

Grace

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I need a MUCH stronger Deodorant…

I know, you’re staring at the subject line of this blog post and wondering what the heck I’m talking about.  Of course there’s a story behind it.  You know I’m all about the back story!  Are you ready?  Let’s dive in…

As you may or may not be aware, I’m extremely cheap and hesitant to actually spend any money promoting my books.  I’ll sign up for ANY promotional opportunity as long as it has the cost of $FREE.  That’s what led me to jump in blindly to a new opportunity.  What am I talking about?  Something called a “Live Write.”

I was talking to someone on Facebook and she said the magic phrase ‘free opportunity to get your name out there.’  I instantly said, “SIGN ME UP!” without doing a lick of research.  This is my typical method of operation in life.  So, as per usual, I might be in over my head a little bit.

A ‘Live Write’ is where two authors come together in real time and write a story.  In this case, the ‘Live Write’ is on Friday July 21 in the form of a Facebook Event.  There are six writers broken up into pairs, and each pair of writers gets one hour to do their story.  I’m still not 100 percent sure how it works, but I think the two authors take turns each writing three or four sentences and then it’s the next person’s turn and then back to the first person’s turn.  The moderator chooses a picture and the two authors have to construct a story based on that picture.  The scary part is that you have to be fast on your feet, the story has to make sense, and you can’t second guess where the plot is leading because it’s all LIVE in real time.  There’s no do-over and no advanced preparation.  You see the picture and then you’re off and running with no time to strategize.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I can be spontaneous and improvise a story.  That’s not the issue.  The thing that’s causing me to sweat through my deodorant in five seconds flat…is the fact that most authors don’t write the way that I do.  I researched one of these events AFTER I signed up for it (yeah, I should have done that the other way around) and I was in for a bit of a rude awakening.

They write stuff that sounds all flowery and descriptive like…

“The majestic sun cast down her light, beaming bright rays of warmth onto the harsh, scorched pavement.   Every desperately thirsty plant within a two mile radius ached for even the barest drop of rainwater to coat their withering leaves.  This environment was detrimental to the well-being of the inhabitants on the planet, causing deplorable living conditions for millions of unfortunate citizens.”

(Yeah, I just made all that crap up off the top of my head, but it took forever because I can’t think of descriptive words.)

While I write stuff that sounds like…

(EXCERPT from MY DIRTY VACATION…)

            Dmitry kept pacing and I started to sweat a bit more than usual.  After watching me wipe my hands on my jeans for the third time, he called me over and asked me take a little walk with him to burn off nervous energy. 

            “Violet, you and I are both in the same boat.  I can’t handle the flight without a tiny bit of help,” he confessed.  He reached into his pocket and took out a little Ziploc bag full of pills.  “I’m taking six of these fuckers to get to the point where I can get on the plane without losing my shit.  Do you want one or two of them?”

            “What are they?” I think that’s a valid question to ask before taking a mysterious pill from a bag in someone’s pocket.

            “Do you trust me?  At all?”

            “Of course I do.”  That was true.  I would put my life in Rocky’s hands, but not counting him, Dmitry was the next one in line that I trusted the most.  He had been there for me after my world exploded and he talked some sense into me.  Rocky tried to protect me from the truth, Irina threw it in my face and told me to grow a pair, but Dmitry…he actually took the time to sit down with me and explain things.  I had an enormous amount of respect for the man. 

            “Good.  Thank you.  I would never do anything to betray that trust.  Now shut up and take the damn pill.”

            Dmitry counted out six for him and one for me.  I really did not want to do this, but I did it anyway.  Hopefully I would just fall asleep on the plane and not be so nervous.

            “What was that?” I asked after it went down the hatch.

            “A very strong sedative.  If I can take a handful, then you should be fine with one.”

            “If I throw up, I’m going to kill you,” I warned.  “Throwing up is my biggest fear in life.”

            We walked back to Rocky and Sergio.  They were stretching their legs and getting ready to board the plane.  I wondered how long it would take for Dmitry’s magic pill to start working.  The answer to that question was about two minutes.

            “It smells really nice in this airport,” I muttered randomly, looking around and breathing deeply.  “Like popcorn and coffee and cheesecake.”

            “I don’t think cheesecake has a smell,” Dmitry argued.

            “Cheese has a scent and cake has a scent.  Using that logic, cheesecake has a scent,” I said.  Damn.  I was so smart.  I think this was a brain pill.

            Dmitry stuck his finger in my face and said, “Oh, really?  A fish has a smell and a vagina has a smell.  But sometimes they’re the same smell.”

            I bust out laughing and giggled, “That makes no sense, you twat!”

            “Dmitry, who are you fucking that it smells like fish down there?” Sergio asked, shaking his head in disappointment, presumably at Dmitry’s sexual partners.

            This caused me to laugh even harder.

            “I can’t feel my arms.  They’re floating,” I said, flapping my arms like a bird.

            “Son of a bitch!” Rocky snapped.  “Dmitry, what did you take and what the fuck did you give to Violet?”

            “I took a few pills and she took a tiny little quarter of a pill.  Don’t worry about it.”

            “He’s a LIAR!  He took like twenty pills and I had a WHOLE one!” I whispered really loudly.  “Shh.  We have to be quiet or they won’t let us on the plane.  I want to see the zombies and the slot machines!  Do you think they have zombies PLAYING the slot machines?”

Do you see the difference?  I was born to write humorous dialogue and NOT evocative imagery.  So I’m pretty sure I’m going to have an epic failure at this Live Write.  I feel sorry for the author that’s stuck being my partner.

Dear Author who’s drawn the short straw and forced to be my Live Write partner, I apologize in advance for messing up your story with witty dialogue, curse words, and absolutely no fancy prose.

Oh my goodness.  Am I even allowed to swear at all during this thing?  I mean when I first meet new people, I’m all about the ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘have a lovely day.’  But after you get to know me (which takes all of ten minutes), my formality usually goes out the window and the SH*TS, A$$E$, and worse start creeping into the conversation.  Am I rude?  No.  It’s just the way I speak.  I will have to try super hard to contain myself at this event, so as not to look like I’m insane.

Also, I have a BAD habit of randomly capitalizing words in sentences.  Most normal authors use italics when they want to stress a word, but not me.  ‘Grace’ and ‘Normal’ do not go hand in hand.  I like to use ALL caps when I want to stress a word.  This is not something I do on purpose.  It’s instinct…like breathing.  When I read books where proper authors use italics, I think to myself, “So THAT’S how you’re supposed to do it!” and then I go back to using my all caps like a weirdo.

Okay.  I’m going WAY off topic.  I forgot what this blog post was even supposed to be about.  Deep breath.

1) You are ALL cordially invited to attend my very first ever Live Write event.  Here is the link to the event on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/112486379365044

I’m LIVE from 8-9pm USA Central Time Zone.

Please feel free to come and watch me go down in flames.  Please also know that while you’re at home being a spectator, I will ABSOLUTELY sweating through several layers of deodorant and frequently wiping my palms on my jeans and muttering, “WHY did I sign up for this?”

2) If that little snippet from My Dirty Vacation (up abovein RED) caught your eye…I’d like to mention that it’s currently on sale for the low, low price of only 99 cents or £0.99 (for my Brits!).  The sale runs from July 20 – July 27 on a Kindle Countdown Deal.  Here is the link in case you would like to take advantage of this amazing, limited time offer.   https://www.amazon.com/My-Dirty-Vacation-Comedy-Adventure-ebook/dp/B071L5359F

Amazon UK LINK

My Dirty Vacation Amazon Cover

 

I probably should have put that buy link somewhere closer to the top of the email.  I’m HORRIBLE at sales and marketing.

Anyway…as always…thank you very much for reading and have a lovely day!

Grace

 

How does your garden grow? (Summer blog post with PICTURES!)

What’s that nursery rhyme…Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

I don’t know how Mary’s garden is doing, but mine is kind of crappy.  For those of you who don’t pay attention to my yard and what happens in it (which would be all of you, I presume), this is the second year for my garden.  Last year we planted cucumbers, green peppers, zucchini, pumpkins, carrots, and lettuce.  To say that it was a shit show would be putting it mildly.  We were swarmed with Japanese beetles, cucumber beetles, my cucumber plant broke off at the stem, the flowers fell off the pumpkins and none grew, and the zucchini turned rotten and mushy before they were fully grown.

Yes, when I said it was a disaster, I wasn’t kidding.

Fast forward to THIS year.  We’ve planted a different kind of lettuce (Last year the lettuce was bitter and tasted gross…no clue as to why), NO zucchini, and NO carrots.  How’s it going so far?  Thank you for asking!  I’ll tell you…

I have SIX green pepper plants all in individual pots.  They seem pretty decent so far.  I go out and check on them, find Japanese beetles on some of the leaves, have a screaming freak out fit probably scaring the hell out of any neighbor within ear shot, and squash the life out of those bastards.  I’ve found the most satisfying method of destruction is to take two pooper scoopers (are they called trowels?) and mash the bugs between them thus causing a delightful CRUNCH as they pass on to the next realm.  Of course it pisses me off to see the bugs ruining my leaves, yet it also makes me feel guilty after I kill them.  If someone squished my ass just because I was doing nothing more than innocently chewing on my food, I would have a bit of an attitude.  So…bug death is satisfying yet guilt-inducing.  Yes, I have issues.  Here is a picture of my green pepper plant….

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Moving right along…the rest of the garden is not doing as well as the green peppers.  We have cantaloupe, cucumbers, and pumpkins planted in a large raised garden.  The cucumber babies are yellow.  They are not supposed to be yellow.  See example of dying tiny cucumber… (FYI, when I was loading the pictures from my camera to the computer, I labeled this one as ‘CUCUMBER DEATH PIC’

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Not all of them are dead, because I do have this oddly shaped curvy fellow:

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So, folks, there you have it.  Should the zombie apocalypse occur and I’m forced to hunker down and shelter in place, I will be going without fresh fruits and vegetables.  If I get absolutely desperate, I’ll have to eat the flowers growing around my house.

Yes, those are actually doing quite well.  Want pics?  Of course you do!

Here is a pretty pink flower that looks like a firework.  My husband wants to pull them out every year because he thinks they’re weeds, even though they grow IN THE SAME POT every single season.

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I also have these orange ones…

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These white ones…

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And these pretty roses:

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So there you have it…that’s the story of my green thumb (or lack thereof).

In case you’re wondering why the contemporary romantic comedy erotica author is writing a gardening blog post…it’s been a slow few weeks and I have no other gossip for you today.

Have a lovely week and thanks for reading!

Grace

P.S. Please, please, PLEASE do not ask me the names of the flowers.  I think the orange ones are Asian Lilies, but I have NO clue as to the white or pink ones.  Which is why I call them ‘white’ and ‘pink’ ones.