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Tag Archives: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

In These Hard Times, Sacrifices Must Be Made

So last week I blogged about my time management issues, and how I needed to make some changes.

Sadly, this week some of them have come to pass.

I have NOT quit my job or abandoned my family.  The missus disabused me of the former idea, and the onslaught of hate mail directed at even the notion of it disabused me of the latter.

(I suspect the missus might have organized some sort of bot email campaign on that second one, but I can’t prove it…yet.)

I’ve left the indie press I co-founded.

I won’t be MLing NaNoWriMo.

I loved being an ML.  It was a lot of work, consumed a lot of time, and occasionally threw sharp rocks at me from out of left field, but at the same time I found it very rewarding.  I loved the energy, the community, the sense of being in the middle of the ebb and flow of it all.

(And my ego loved getting the ‘atta boy’ emails from my nanos.  My ego did not love the low number of those ‘atta boy’ emails, but hey, what can you do?)

I’ve done Nano for nine years.  NINE YEARS!  I’ve been an ML for seven.  So for me, nano IS MLing.

I’m really going to miss it.  But as much as I hate giving it up, I just don’t have the time. Like that Cat’s Playing In The Dreidel song (or something along those lines), I don’t want my kids to grow up as heartless, empty shells of human beings because dear ol’ dad decided to rule with an iron fist over his regional nanos rather than rule with an iron fist over them.  Dictatorships tend to be inherited, so I need to focus on the family.

And you know what, seven years is a long time under my benevolent dictatorship (well, OK, I’ve actually been a co-ML for seven years, so I can’t claim all the despotism for myself…dammit).  This is a good thing.  Bring in some new blood, some fresh ideas.  Kick the old dog into the animal shelter so a younger dog with new tricks can show off.

All to the benefit of my dear regional nanos.  I hope they appreciate what that old dog has done for them as the shelter technician euthanizes it.

(The other solution was to neuter the old dog and end the cycle that way, but seeing as I’m the old dog, well…that idea just didn’t sit with me as well as being put to sleep.)

As Captain Kirk said in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, “Galloping around the month of November writing novels is for the young, Doctor.”

(I may have taken a few liberties with that quote.)

I do plan to participate in Nano this year, but just as a writer. Which reminds me, I really need to start outlining this year’s book.

Now Star Trek III: The Search for a New Co-ML begins.  No persons containing unstable proto-matter need apply.  That’s all my region needs right now, a co-ML who unexpectedly explodes.

(And for you trekkers out there, here’s an interesting link about the early version of the TNG writer’s bible.  I have no idea if it’s authentic or not, but it’s an intriguing read: http://bit.ly/rlUSNh )

 

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Standards – How Do You Measure Them?

I was flipping through the channels on the TV the other night and stumbled across Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

It got me to thinking about standards.

God that is a terrible movie.  Hands down the worst of the Star Trek movies. (And if you’re thinking to yourself that there’s only one Star Trek movie, go wipe your nose and change your diaper, kiddo, and delve into the ancient history known as the 80s, or even better, the 60s too.)  Now I’m not about to rank the Star Trek movies and then justify those rankings here.  Not what I want to blog about.

(But it’s II, VI (a very close second), IV, III, I, V, in case you were curious.)

I remember seeing that movie in the theater, leaving it pretty steamed, and then reading people’s impressions on the internet (yes, the internet existed back then – we had these awesome things called newsgroups – look them up).  And a comment one chump made has hung with me all these years.  It was something to the effect of:

“As a movie, it was terrible, but as an extended TV episode, it was pretty decent.”

No, no, and no.

What the hell?  It sucked.  Period.  As a movie, as a TV show, as a concept in some fan-fic’ers imagination. It blew multicolored chunks, which in turn squeezed out multicolored turds, which turned around, fed on each other, and blew even more multicolored chunks.

No amount of spin can change that fact.

But this comment raises an interesting question.  Are all Star Trek fans loyal to the franchise to the point of idiocy?  Yes, they are.  Well, some of them, anyway.  And I say this as a huge fanboi, so stop trying to cram me into a red shirt and put those phasers down.

A more interesting question is this: what (differing) standards do we hold our types of entertainment to?  Can a terrible book be a half decent novella?  A burst hemorrhoids of a short story an avant garde poem?  Or, conversely, can a brilliant novel be a horrible movie?

Scratch that last one – it happens all the time.

The thing is, some people seem to have relative standards, which makes no sense to me.

(Pirates of the Caribbean IV fans claiming Jonny Depp made it worth sitting through, I’m talking to you!)

A story is a story, no matter the format.  And it’s awesomesauce, fecal stew, or somewhere in-between.  I don’t see how the presentation of a story to the reader/listener/viewer can change that simple fact.

The plot is tight, clever, and coherent, or it isn’t.  The characters engaging, entertaining, and complex, or flat and uninteresting.  The setting well-crafted, adroitly portrayed, or implausible and phoned in.  How can the format of the story have any impact on the quality?

Seriously?  Am I missing something?  Because in my youth I managed to write a whole bunch of short stories, poems, and novel rough drafts so awful that they could be used in the Cthulhu mythos to summon terrible, ancient evils that would end our tiny, insignificant world.  If switching the format can transform them into awesome, angel-summoning cash machines, I wanna know it.

Also, because in my universe, Star Trek V sucked no matter how you looked at it (unless you were lucky enough NOT to look at it).  As a huge fan, if there is a way to view that movie and not want to gnaw my own leg off as a distraction, I want to know it.  Need to know it.

So do you use different standards depending on the medium of the work in question?

 
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Posted by on 2 June 2011 in Other Blogs, Story

 

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