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Sherlock: A Study in Pink

Thanks to I now am able to begin watching all those shows “I’ve been meaning to” but never got around to; and commercial free, too!  On this list was Sherlock.  I’m currently reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes.  I am truly fascinated with the Sherlock Holmes character.  The way he observes people, shows the true meaning of “people watching”.  The thing I love about Sherlock Holmes is how he can see the same things as everyone else, but deducts different meanings from it.  This was shown in the first episode of Sherlock.  For example, the lady in pink’s coat was wet under the collar, and wet in other areas, yet her umbrella was dry.  While someone may think that perhaps she just didn’t pull out her umbrella, Sherlock figured out it was because it was too windy for an umbrella, and the collar had been turned up on her jacket.

The show plays up even more this idea that it’s a detective story which does not hide any knowledge from the reader/watcher by having words appear (Batman style) which relate to Sherlock’s observations.  For example, the lady had scratched “rache” in the floor.  I came to the conclusion it was Rachel, but Sherlock also came up with the German word “rache” in addition to Rachel.

Everyone has their own idea of who Sherlock is and how he acts.  The creators of this show do no align directly with my image of Sherlock.  In the show, Sherlock is portrayed as pretentious.  He seems to enjoy people dying so he can solve the case.  This is a darker portrayal than the novels, where Sherlock does not think he is any different from Watson or anyone else, he just pays more attention.  Unlike the TV show Sherlock, the book Sherlock does not think he is smarter or better than anyone else.  The way I interpret Sherlock, is he is aware that he is good at what he does, but he doesn’t let it go to his head; instead, he appreciates helping, and is ready to help out anyone.

My initial reaction to Sherlock was he showed too much emotion.  Reflecting on this, I suppose it has more to do with how I picture Sherlock, and less to do with his original portrayal.  I don’t picture so much a Darcy character, so much as he keeps his mouth shut and his ears open, which is how he learns, but also, because he has seen and knows so much, it takes a lot to surprise or humor him.

Another major difference between the book and show, is the relationship between Holmes and Watson.  In the book they are lifelong friends.  In the show, they have a mutual acquaintance who introduces them to each other to be flat mates.  They are both unattached and everyone assumes they are a couple because Sherlock normally works alone.  I admit, I took umbrage to this.  There is no reason why people should assume that just because Sherlock is with another human that there is anything romantic about it.

Watson’s character has the biggest change.  Instead of being a married medical doctor, and only confidant of Holmes, Sherlock‘s Watson is an army doctor with trust issues.  I’m still not sold on these changes, however, I can understand why they would want to include a meeting between Holmes and Watson.  And, I can understand why Watson would so blindly trust Holmes.  I have a friend who observes people like Holmes does, and when someone knows things about you that were never spoken to them, you feel like you have no choice but to not hide things from them, as they’ll know anyway.  However, it also gives them an upper edge as they are very deliberate at giving away only what they want you to know about them, which is why I don’t think I would ever room with someone like that without getting to know them first.  However, maybe Watson felt like he had no other alternatives, and he did have the approval of his old friend who introduced him to Sherlock.

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Writing Survey

In an attempt to get myself writing on here again, I re-organized all the tags/suggestions, and deleted anything that didn’t have enough “me” in it.  I also have a list of not-too-personal surveys from LiveJournal which I intend to post here as well.

1. Do you outline?
Not usually.  This is probably why I rarely finish anything.  I don’t know why I have such a difficulty with this.

2. Do you write straight through, or do you sometimes tackle the scenes out of order?
Usually I write straight through, however, I have been known to tackle scenes out of order (namely when I don’t have my story in front of me and I want to work on it).  It is difficult to work in scenes written out of order though.

3. Do you prefer writing with a pen or using a computer?
Computer.  When I write by hand (I used to do this all the time), my handwriting ends up not looking nice, and I have scribbles and additions and it’s near impossible even for me to read.  That being said, usually when I’m writing out of order scenes, those are written on paper.

4. Do you prefer writing in first person or third?
I don’t have a preference between the two; I feel like the type of story lends itself only to one or the other.  My fanfiction is almost exclusively third person, whereas the story I’m working on right now is about someone discovering herself and needed to be written in 1st person; the story wouldn’t have made sense in 3rd person.

5. Do you listen to music while you write?
I keep meaning to create a playlist just for a specific story to keep my mind focused on it, but that doesn’t ever wind up happening.  I actually did have a playlist created for one story, but I never remembered to have it on when I was writing.  The story I’m working on now technically has a playlist (the story and playlist have their inspirations in the same source), but I’ve never tried writing the story with it on, partially because the playlist is music that I do not normally listen to.  I don’t find music to affect my concentration; when I’m really into writing, I tune out everything around me.

6. How do you come up with the perfect names for your characters?
Meh, I don’t.  I usually just pick names I like.  If I’m writing a period piece, I will research applicable names and pick what I like from there.  My current story, I wasn’t even sold on  the names, I just used them as placeholders and had intended to change them later when inspiration struck.  However, I had shown the story to a friend and he started referring to the characters by name and they just stuck at that point.

7. When you’re writing, do you ever imagine your story as a television show or movie?
I do.  When I read, I know it’s successful writing when I’m picturing it as a television show/movie, rather than words on a page.  Therefore it’s important to me for my story to visual.  Of course there are certain things that you can do with a visual medium that you simply can’t do on paper. 

8. Have you ever had a character insist on doing something you really didn’t want him/her to do?
Yes.  Every time I try writing an emo-esque Anne of Green Gables fic, Gilbert always finds a way to try and get with Anne, and I’m like, noooooooo, not in this fic.  I don’t have such a problem with my original characters, mostly because I let them control the story.

9. Do you know how a story is going to end when you start it?
Rarely.  Maybe my fan fiction more so, because they’re relatively short.  But never with original work.  I was writing one and suddenly new the ending, so I jotted it down so I’d remember it.  My current story, not so much.

10. Where do you write?
Usually in the living room.  I need to try cleaning off my desk and seeing if writing in my bedroom works any better.  If we’re slow, I’ll write at work.

11. What do you do when you get writer’s block?
Get frustrated and walk away.

12. What size increments do you write in (either in terms of wordcount, or as a percentage of the fic as a whole)?
Until I have to stop either due to hitting a mental roadblock, or real life interferes.

13. How many different drafts did you write for your last project?
Uhhh. . . technically two.  I started writing, then I had someone beta the progress, then I re-wrote most of what I had so far.  It’s still a WIP.

14. Have you ever changed a character’s name midway through a draft?
I mean to often, but then don’t because I just get used to that name being that character.  Although I feel like one time I had two characters in the same piece with the same name; obviously that would need to be changed.

15. Do you let anyone read your story while you’re working on it, or do you wait until you’ve completed a draft before letting someone else see it?
Depends.  I usually don’t have betas.  My last piece I was sending to someone because he was sending me his mid-draft.  My current one I’m sending chapter-by-chapter because I want to make sure everything is working smoothly before I get too far in as it is a topic I’ve never dealt with before.

16. What do you do to celebrate when you finish a draft?
I really don’t celebrate it.

17. One project at a time, or multiple projects at once?
Multiple.  If I get an idea, I want to go with it.  I don’t want to make something (or someone) wait just because I’m stuck on something else.  That being said, I’m only active with one at a time.

18. Do your stories grow or shrink in revision?
Grow, because usually what revising does is fill in those “insert skipped time here” breaks.

19. Do you have any writing or critique partners?
Not really.  I have a couple of people who have done it in the past.  My current piece, the only reason that friend is critiquing it for me is because the story was completely his idea.  (One of those jokes, “You know what you should write?”  “Challenge accepted.”)

20. Do you prefer drafting or revising?
Drafting.  Usually when I get to the revision portion I’m sick of the story and don’t care.  That’s why I’m revising my current story as I go along.

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Update and a meme

I’m sorry, but I’ve kind of run away from here again. Partially because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to get my niche going on here, and partly because I haven’t had the time to do a serious blog entry. However, I was directed to a book meme over here, so I decided I should post it here.

1. What’s your favorite time of day to read?
I don’t have one, so maybe that’s part of the reason I’ve fallen out it.

2. Do you read during breakfast? (Assuming you eat breakfast.)
Nope. I’ve tried, but I don’t like sitting at a table and reading, and much less, I don’t like sitting in the kitchen chair for reading.

3. What’s your favorite breakfast food? (Noting that breakfast foods can be eaten any time of day.)
Bagels or homemade breads or cinnamon/orange rolls or scrambled eggs/omelets/quiche.

4. How many hours a day would you say you read?
Not nearly enough.

5. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago?
Less; I didn’t have a full time job then.

6. Do you consider yourself a speed reader?
No, but I’m not slow either.

7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Make things work out.

8. Do you carry a book with you everywhere you go?

9. What KIND of book?
Whatever I’m reading; which I’m sure some people would think is nuts right now because I have been taking my Ordinary Heroes with me.

10. How old were you when you got your first library card?
Uhh, I want to say 3rd or 4th grade because I’m pretty sure I knew cursive.

11. What’s the oldest book you have in your collection? (Oldest physical copy? Longest in the collection? Oldest copyright?)
In the collection, I want to say. . .maybe a Nancy Drew book? I don’t know what books are in the basement, so I really don’t know my collection right now. Oldest copyright I’m pretty sure is The Clue of the Rusty Key by Carolyn Keene: copyright 1942. Wouldn’t that also be oldest physical? Unless we go off of original copyright, then Anne of Green Gables which was first published in 1908 I believe, though my copy was copyrighted in 1986.

12. Do you read in bed?
I have.

13. Do you write in your books?
Rarely. Ordinary Heroes has highlighting. That’s the extent.

14. If you had one piece of advice to a new reader, what would it be?
Don’t try to read above your reading level and try different genres, different authors before deciding what you do and don’t like. Don’t start with a classic.

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Where else can grandma and the kids see The Silence of the Lambs?

Yay!  A book post!  I’m hoping these will encourage me to read on a more regular basis.

Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Author: Thomas Harris
Pages: 1-81

I bought this book from a Goodwill because I had seen (and bought) the movies.  Ever since the first time I saw The Silence of the Lambs which was probably about five years ago, I have been intrigued by the character of Hannibal Lector.  The fact that he eats people makes it easy to write him off as the villain.  However, his character is not so simple.  Lector is a meticulous person.  He gives people the impression they can trust him.  He gets to know all about the character, both from their trust in him, and from a seemingly extrasensory source.   Everything he does is deliberate, which is why he can eat people and his heart rate never rises above its resting point.

I am often skeptical of books turned movie; I expect the movie to be a somewhat of a disappointment.  Because the book comes first, I always try to read it (I learned with The Outsiders that sometimes the movie leaves out details explained in the book).  Having seen the movie (of The Silence of the Lambs) first, I was a bit concerned about reading the book.

81 pages into the book, I have to say I’m not disappointed.  So far the movie has done a good job of following the book.

Harris does a good job of sneaking in details so you receive a thorough image of all the characters and Clarice’s feelings/interpretations of them, while not slowing down the pace of the book.  From the beginning, Lector is portrayed as a meticulous human being, and he shows very quickly that he can be trustworthy, but only when he wants to be.

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Booking Through Thursday

A weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading.

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Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

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A blog about food, life, and all of the wonderful happenings in between

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