Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Question of Content

(read: what the fuck am I supposed to talk about here)

I've spent the past few days trying to puzzle out a nagging question: I've had this blog since 2007, and in all that time I never figured out what to do with it.

My original idea was that I'd use the blog to bitch about my own writing, yet I've done that very little, possibly because bitching about one's own writing is only sometimes funny, and annoying in large doses.

The most fun I've had blogging in the past few years wasn't even done here, but rather on my mostly-otherwise-abandoned Livejournal, snarking about D&D monsters. Since these were also my most popular posts (my 'most' I mean 'only'), it follows that perhaps I would do well to snark some more.

I considered reading through - and snarking about - the Twilight book series, but Cleolinda Jones has done this already, and more hilariously than I could hope to live up to. Not only that, but since she wrote those many other people have jumped on that bandwagon. So, that's kinda "out".

Which brings me to a curious problem I have.

I haven't read enough.

In an earlier post, I typed up my creative influences; the fantasy/sci-fi works, anyway. The list is noticeably devoid of many - most - popular works in the field.

To sum up this problem:

  • I'm working on a contemporary/urban fantasy novel, yet in that genre the majority I've read was by Neil Gaiman. No Laurell K. Hamilton. No Jim Butcher.
  • I'm working on an epic fantasy novel, yet the majority I've read was by George R. R. Martin. No Robert Jordan. No Terry Brooks.
  • I'm working on the script for a science fiction television show pilot (in spaaaaaaaaace), yet I've mostly just seen Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars (not even a TV series). No Babylon 5. No Farscape.
Why have I not read these books (or watched these shows)? Oh, various reasons. Maybe I always planned to but never followed through. Or maybe I just didn't get around to them. Some of them I've been actively discouraged from reading - they may be popular, I'm told, but they're crap. (Like Twilight, or so I'm told.)

Yet, if I'm going to be a respectable aspiring speculative fiction writer, aren't I kind of obligated to read these? Eh? A bitter pill, perhaps...

But on the other hand, if I can read them and tear them apart (or praise them) on this blog, then maaaaaayyyyybe Robert Jordan's twenty-billion-word super-mega-opus starts to look a little better. And after all, I did promise "snark" in my new blog subtitle. (And then my snarky D&D posts may look a little less out of place, and I can bring them over here, in from the cold of LiveJournal. Or I can leave them there forever, like a gleefully bad parent. Either way.)

So, first on my list: Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time."

On the New Blog Title (For Now)

"Fairies, Sex, and Spacemen."

Third blog title I've used so far. The first was the evocative "Goldfish and Needles" - I liked that one, but neither goldfish nor needles have appeared on this blog, nor are likely to appear in the future. The second was the humdrum but utilitarian "Jake Jesson's Blog".

I think I like this one.

I almost titled it "The Mystical Vagina of Time" after the title of a (sadly, fictional) book series referred to in this post by Jay Lake on the larval stages of the common American speculative fiction writer:
After re-reading volumes I through XVII of A Game of Throne-Captains of the Mystical Vagina of Time, the writer will exclaim, “I could do better than this! A monkey could do better than this!” Many amazing careers have been launched from this moment. It should be honored, much like any moment of conception, possibly by bunking out for a wet wipe and a smoke afterward.
As I am one of these aforementioned larval American speculative fiction writers, it seemed somehow appropriate - if a little obscure.

Then a friend suggested "Fairies and Spacemen", in reference to my current works-in-progress and my plans for this blog, in reference to the poem / song Daisies, Cats, and Spacemen. I wanted a third word; I put "Sex" in there as a joke, and thought "Hang on - that could work."

Possible downside: I may now be contractually obliged to mention "sex" in every post. Hm...

Speaking of which, next post: Blog content!