adaptations, Anxiety, article submission, Arya Stark, Briann of Tarth, culture, Eddie Redmayne, fantasy, Game of Thrones, Jupiter Ascending, literature, Mila Kunis, movies, Nymeria, pop culture, postmodernism, publishing, rant, reading, Red Wedding, Sansa Stark, science fiction, Skeptical Puppy, television, vegging out, Westeros, Winterfell
Not before I posted a wet-blanket introduction in my new class. It was like a wet Army blanket in August, that introduction. “HI. It’s me. My dog died. Nice to meet you.” I can’t imagine how that went over. Meh though. I’m still sleeping with the squeaky Chewbacca, and that’s okay for now. I haven’t slept with something since the White Bear during the 70s. What’s fun is that every once in a while, I roll over on the squeaky Wookie causing it to squeak. That has actually become quite fun. So, we’re getting back to whatever ‘normal’ is.
I sent the Thomas Mann paper off to be published. I should actually be more honest and articulate about what I did. I sent the Thomas Mann paper off to be rejected by a literary journal. So this sending stuff off is a small anxiety-riddled nightmare. After reading some of the articles in the journal, the “About the Journal” page, and the submission requirements, I had to spend close to a half hour revising the format. Changing double quotes to singles, singles to doubles, changing all the -ize to -ise, and changing all the in-line citations was nothing short of tedious. BUT…. then I went through the process of filling out all the information about myself and my article, then uploaded the revised document. After close to an hour of work on a paper I have already spent ten weeks working on, I clicked “Submit” … and then ….
Because you might not be able to handle rejection, that’s why!
Because this really cannot be the best you can do, that’s why!
I did it. In all my false bravado, I clicked “OK” indicating my absolute certainty that I indeed did want to submit the manuscript.
Why do I feel sick?
I have to wait for the rejection before I can send it somewhere else which hardly seems reasonable, yet I understand why it is the way it is. I got an email from someone with an exceptionally cool name who said they got my submission. And now … we wait. Oh Carly Simon, you were so right about anticipation even though that song doesn’t make a whole lot of literal sense. I have submitted to this publisher before and they don’t waste a lot of time rejecting me, and their letters of rejection are really warm and seem heartfelt. That’s what I tell myself. I try not to think about the mindless cutting, copying, and pasting involved in rejection letters. I wonder if they have people whose sole responsibility for eight hours is cutting, copying, and pasting rejection letters. Hmm.
To keep my mind off my anxiety, I watched Jupiter Ascending last night. Mediocre adolescent, young adult HML movie, but with a nice twist. Eddie Redmayne is certainly way more versatile than that role in Pillars of the Earth let on. Twenty minutes into the movie, Channing Tatum starts laying out the cultural stuff, and Big Daddy was like “OK, it’s getting teenagery now. Why do they have to do that?” I reminded him that any time there is a female lead in a science fiction or fantasy movie, it’s almost always going to be “teenagery” otherwise it’s Blade Runner and not for the faint of heart. Well, he just doesn’t understand why they have to categorize everything and lay it all out so obviously. Well, its amateur stuff, that’s why. Not that the movie-making is amateur or the storytelling. It’s catered to the audience. It’s a symptom of postmodernism too. Everything has to be categorized and spelled out now. It’s why Peter Jackson had to tell Tolkien’s stories in SIX MOVIES. Because people don’t go to the movies to think, Big Daddy. They go to escape their anxiety from submitting papers to online journals all while Skeptical Puppy is looming in the back of their brains. Luckily, immediately following the juvenile yet effective methods of “ruining a good story” there was a superb bit of CG and chase/fight scene. That alleviated some of Big Daddy’s concerns because it was cool and he was tired. Casting Mila Kunis didn’t hurt either. She’s so freaking adorable. I thought that whole storyline about genetics and genetic harvesting was pretty cool. I think I might read the book.
While we’re on the subject of cinematic adaptations, let me just go off on the writers/producers/directors of Game of Thrones for a minute. There are Spoilers in these here hills, so tread with caution:
WTF? Sansa is going to marry Ramsay Bolton? Briann is going to train Pod? Jamie and Bronn are going to Dorn? Just WTF?
Jeyne Pool gets dressed up like Arya while Sansa gets shipped off to the Fingers and disappears for the remainder of what is the remainder of the books. Bolton’s bastard does horribly wretched things to Jeyne Pool which will apparently now happen to Sansa. There is potential here to completely alter Sansa’s character, or to punish her needlessly. People are whining about poor Sansa and all she’s already been through, but let us not forget her behavior on the King’s Road when her dire wolf was beheaded. She turned like a vicious harpy on her own sister in favor of that twit Joffrey. No matter how I feel about her, though, she’s been punished enough. I was happy to see her disappear from the book. Her chapters took up space better suited for Arya or Cat of the Canals or Lady Stoneheart. I hate Sansa Stark. She is a whining twit with no backbone, although it’s admittedly hard to have any kind of backbone when you’re related to Arya whose backbone is adamantine. I think Martin hit writer’s block with Sansa’s character in the book. She was a sort of Stark aberration in that she did not possess the same strength of character that all the rest of the members of her family possess. Hell, even Rickon has more strength of character than Sansa. Old Nan was tougher than Sansa. I think he just didn’t know what to do with her anymore. I was to that point with her too. I was always tempted to breeze right past all the Sansa chapters.
Briann and Pod get ‘napped outside a bar, and disappear, so I am relieved about this deviation from the books. I’m also relieved that she has actually spoken words with both Arya and Sansa. I always wanted both Briann and Sansa to be more celebrated female characters. We all know, who have read the books, that Sansa has a chance here in the show to redeem her simpering self and take full revenge against Theon and the Boltons, but we also know that she won’t. If she does, then they can hardly keep calling it Game of Thrones. What would be nice to see is Briann catch up with her at Winterfell (which is now looking a lot like Harrenhall) and teach her to have a backbone, teach her to fight, and help her get revenge with the help of those “the North remembers” people. It would be nice if Sansa could have her own Red Wedding, don’t you think?
I’m also curious about Nymeria in the show. This is spoiler spoiler spoiler if you haven’t read the books. So, Nymeria finds Catlynn Stark’s body after the Red Wedding and pulls it out of the river near the Twins (I might have that last part wrong…misremembering, wishful remembering…), and Arya is having dreams like Bran’s and Jon’s where she sees through Nymeria’s eyes. What happened to this part of the story? The supernatural elements of the books are being stripped from the show. I guess dragons are enough supernatural for HBO? Speaking of dragons….Danerys really made me mad during this phase of her “motherhood” as far as her treatment of the dragons is concerned. I didn’t like it that she put them in the pit. I had to keep reminding myself that she’s only like sixteen years old, and she really knows a lot more nothing than Jon Snow ever forgot. But her cinematic version is really starting to piss me off. I keep telling my sister, who now hates her, that she’s just a kid. My sister says then why is she having so much sex. Point. Set. Match. What do I say? They had a lot of sex young back then? Pfffft. Sansa is about the same age and she’s not having any sex. All her potential sex partners keep dying, violently.
What are they going to do with Sansa? Will what they are doing with Sansa change the whole tone of the story? Will Martin ever finish the series in written form? How will he reconcile these alterations? Will he even acknowledge these alterations? Because I’m a word nerd, I will always prefer the book to the adaptation. The only times I have ever considered an adaptation as good or better than a book are those few times when the adaptation morphs into its own story, which is what GoT is doing. I am a sycophant about Peter Jackson’s Tolkien adaptations but mostly because they are beautiful to look at and because they are a faster way to get my Tolkien gratifications than reading Tolkien. I think this doing the books in a television series is getting destructive though. Yesterday, in a social media thread, I read someone’s post: I guess I should just stop reading the books and keep watching the show. WHAT?! %#&^*! are you kidding me? PLEASE don’t stop reading the books. Never stop reading the books.
Never stop reading the books. Read all the books.