Repost: I was once bitten by a vampire.

When she said she was a vampire, I just thought it was bawdy talk.

I saw this story – Florida Teen Murder Suspect Says She’s a Vampire – and it made me think of the time I was bitten by a “vampire.”  Retold here for your reading pleasure.

I want to share with you one search term that came up a number of times, a disturbingly large number of times.  It was, “Real Vampire Pictures,” or some variation of that term. The point is people were looking for information on real vampires.

Let me be perfectly clear on this point.  Vampires are not real.  They don’t exist.  Okay, yes I was once bitten in college by a girl who said she was a vampire.  And, yes she bit a couple of other guys that night.  And, yes I woke up with two very distinct fang marks on my neck, and it really freaked my roommate and me out.  And,  yes this vampire coed may have warned me that others would be coming for me because she had marked me, but they haven’t.  And I’m sure… relatively sure, it will never happen.   And I think I heard one of the other guys she bit died shortly thereafter… holy crap!  Vampires are real!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, they aren’t real, but the story about me being bitten in college by a girl claiming to be a vampire is 100% true.  And, she really did leave fang marks. She was a very polite vampire because she asked me if she could bite me before she did.  In my defense, I didn’t think bite actually meant bite.  We had a serious communication problem.  The relationship was doomed from the beginning.

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I was once bitten by a vampire.

When she said she was a vampire, I just thought it was bawdy talk.

So, I was going through my blog’s stats to look for possible search terms for another edition of “Freaky Search Friday,” but I had so many to choose from I had to put the post on the back burner  because I am busy writing a new book. (BTW – That sentence was almost 50 words long.  Beat that!)  In other words, I ran out of time, but for a really good reason.  That’s also why I haven’t been on the blog as much recently.  This new book is just flowing out of me like water out of a fountain.  It’s actually really fun, so I haven’t wanted to distract myself with my usual insightful posts.

Instead of a “Freaky Search Friday” post, I want to share with you one search term that came up a number of times, a disturbingly large number of times.  It was, “Real Vampire Pictures,” or some variation of that term. The point is people were looking for information on real vampires.

Let me be perfectly clear on this point.  Vampires are not real.  They don’t exist.  Okay, yes I was once bitten in college by a girl who said she was a vampire.  And, yes she bit a couple of other guys that night.  And, yes I woke up with two very distinct fang marks on my neck, and it really freaked my roommate and me out.  And,  yes this vampire coed may have warned me that others would be coming for me because she had marked me, but they haven’t.  And I’m sure… relatively sure, it will never happen.   And I think I heard one of the other guys she bit died shortly thereafter… holy crap!  Vampires are real!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, they aren’t real, but the story about me being bitten in college by a girl claiming to be a vampire is 100% true.  And, she really did leave fang marks. She was a very polite vampire because she asked me if she could bite me before she did.  In my defense, I didn’t think bite actually meant bite.  We had a serious communication problem.  The relationship was doomed from the beginning.

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The Twilight – Oz Chronicles Connection

Looks like Kristen's gone from sparkling vampires to creepy old cannibals.

I hope you had an awesome July 4!  I did and then some.  Spent the day with the lovely Mia and spotted this picture of Kristen Stewart catching up on the latest edition of the Oz Chronicles, The Land of the Dead.  Oddly enough, I spotted it after I created it in Photoshop!

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Don’t Write the Words. Live them.

BTW - Real Vampires Don't Sparkle!

Why are the Twilight books so popular?  I can speculate, and I will since this is my blog. I have never read the books.  I tried.  I bought the first one and couldn’t get past page 100.  I am making no judgment on Stephenie Meyer.  I’ve lived long enough to know that tastes vary, and I’m not always going to agree with the majority.  It is what it is.  Just because I don’t care for her style or the books doesn’t mean they are bad.

I have several adult friends who are in love with the Twilight series, and they know I am not a fan.  They’ve tried to convince me that I should read them because I write young adult fiction.  But reading a popular book to try and emulate it is a pointless endeavor.  I’ll explain why in a bit, but let’s get back to my adult friends who read the Twilight books.   When I ask them what they like about the novels, the most common response I get is “I don’t know.”

“The writing?” I ask.

“No, the writing isn’t really that great,” they answer.

“The story?”

“Not really.  It’s been done before.  Awkward girl falls in love with the bad boy.  Bad boy has a heart of gold.  Awkward girl gets in trouble.  Bad boy comes to the rescue. Awkward girl demonstrates a surprisingly strong side.  Bad boy demonstrates a surprisingly tender side.  It’s kind of like Grease, but with vampires.”

“The characters?”

“No, they’re pretty thin and clichéd.”

“There has to be something about the book you like.  What is it?”

“They’re just fun to read.”

And that brings me to why one author can’t effectively copy another author’s success just by writing the same type of book.  You have to enjoy what you write in order for someone to enjoy what you read.  I can’t explain it or prove it, but there is a magical element that occurs when writing from a place of utter absorption… from a place where you’re no longer self-aware.  You are simply enjoying the experience of telling the story.  That can’t be faked.  It has to be genuine.

Those of us who write in the English language are all using the same basic set of words and rules.   Sometimes we’re even placing the words in the same order on the page.  So, writing well has to be more than using the language in a clever manner.  Writing well isn’t about writing at all.  As corny as it sounds, it’s about living the words on the page as you write them.  It is a wholly metaphysical event.

So, maybe that does explain why the Twilight books are so popular.  Maybe it’s because Stephenie Meyer didn’t write them at all.  She lived the words.

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DO NOT KILL UNICORNS!

An Oz Chronicle fan pets a unicorn right before he beats it to death with a piece of paper.

I think some of you misunderstood my post about selling more books than Stephenie Meyer this year.  I stated that unicorns would go extinct if I didn’t sell more books than the sparkling vampire queen.  Some how this has been translated into me encouraging fans of The Oz Chronicles to kill unicorns.  PLEASE DO NOT KILL UNICORNS!  I was simply saying the unicorns would die out of sadness if I didn’t sell more books than Stephenie Meyer this year.  Or the unicorns will be so enraged that they will go out on a murdering rampage that will make it necessary to kill them in self defense.   So the easiest thing to do here to save a unicorn is to buy an Oz Chronicle book. 

BTW – For those of you haven’t read the Oz Chronicle books, there are absolutely no unicorns in the book.  They just hate sparkling vampires that don’t have fangs and for some reason remain in high school even though they’re like 100 years old… and in fact aren’t really vampires.

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Old Ladies on a Plane – Episode 8 “Non-episode episode or New Moon Trailer Reaction Video”

This may be the end of the ladies. Unfortunately, it will not be the end of the Twilight series to movie adaptations.

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Good Book Friday – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hungry for a good book?  Read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Hungry for a good book? Read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

This is an exciting Friday for me because I get to recommend a good book to you. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a rare gem in the young adult market because it can be appreciated by any fan of science fiction/fantasy, no matter the age of the reader. It is the story of a young girl who is thrust into a vicious, televised game of survival that pits her against a cast of other kids from around the country that once was the United States. The only way to win this game is to outlive the other contestants by any means necessary. The premise is a fresh take on the Richard Bachman book, The Running Man. Or if you prefer, think ancient Rome’s gladiators set in a horrific reality show every Roman is forced to watch. Suzanne Collins deserves the success Stephanie Meyer is experiencing with Twilight. Meyer’s series is good, but it leaves the young male reader out of the equation. It’s a romance novel that has cute vampires. Collins’ Hunger Games is told with a lot of grit and blood and guts. There’s a romance element to it, but not enough to turn us boys off. Beyond creating some really intriguing action scenes, Collins is a master in creating compelling characters you care about. I found myself with a lump in my throat a couple of times, and trying to man up while I held back a tear or two. Bravo Suzanne Collins. Hunger Games gets five out of five stars from me.

On a personal note, this book came at an interesting time for me. I’m writing a book from the point-of-view of a 15-year-old girl, and this story helped me get over something I was struggling with. I spent a lot of time trying to make my character sound like a teenage girl which was a mistake. This book taught me that it was more important to find the characters unique voice and stop force feeding stereotypes on her. Thank you Suzanne Collins. Once again, if you want to be a good writer, read a good book.

UPDATE: Just got word that Book 2 of the Hunger Games series is done and set for release on September 8, 2009.  The title is Catching Fire. Here’s a link to a Publisher’s Weekly (has image of new cover)