Jun 9, 2009

Missed It By That Much

I had a plan. My plan was to write my Monday posts on Sunday, and then schedule them to appear on Monday morning. Only I got so busy with other things, I forgot. And what other things occupied me? *sigh* Believe it or not, it was housework. Yes, you heard me. Me, the anti-cleaner, got bogged down in cleaning up the house.

We were only going to be away for 24 hours, but I have this thing where I can’t go away and leave a messy house. It could be that’s just the way I was raised; it could be I just like coming home to a clean house; or it could be I have this irrational fear that we might get into an accident while we’re away and strangers will need to go into the house for some reason and I don’t want them seeing how slovenly I really am. I’ll let you decide for yourselves. :-)

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It’s a bit of a joke in my family that I’ve never met a disaster movie I didn’t love, with the exception of Perfect Storm, and I’ll give you the reason for that in a minute. Now some might suppose that it’s the violence I love, at least those who’ve witnessed first hand my somewhat aggressive driving style, but they’d be wrong. It’s not the disaster, it’s the survival that attracts me. This is why I didn’t like Perfect Storm, because they all die in the end. For me to really enjoy that movie, at least one of them should have lived.

What got me thinking about this was a post Isaac Espriu made yesterday about books he enjoyed as a kid. It got me thinking about the books I enjoyed, books like the Swiss Family Robinson, Mysterious Island, Day of the Triffids, Lucifer’s Hammer . . . And it dawned on me that whether these books were about a shipwreck, a natural disaster or an unnatural disaster, the one thing they all had in common was that they were also books of survival.

I don’t think I ever realized how much I was influenced by my early reading habits. Now, of course, I prefer watching disasters than reading about them, but I think that’s because there just doesn’t seem to be many quality disaster books out there. But even in my regular fiction reading, I still enjoy stories about characters who are fighting to survive the most.

How about you? Were you influenced by what you read at an early age?

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This week’s goals:

Write at least a page a day to fulfill my Page-A-Day Challenge obligation that I signed up for on AW.
Make the final selection between the half dozen story ideas that are all clamouring to be my Summer Challenge.
Work on my poetry.

Looking at them in black and white (or should I say green and black?) they don’t seem very significant. But I’ve got a lot on the go this week. Starting with my Economics class, which starts in 30 minutes.


Jamie D. said...

So I'm not the only one behind already then...excellent. :-) Sorry you're behind though!

I'm a big fan of survival stories too - and it just seems like I wasted all the time I spent connecting with the characters when they all die at the end (like The Ruins - I didn't see the movie, but I was very frustrated with the ending of the book). Conquering death in the face of very bad odds - that inspires me.

As to my early reading habits, I'm sure they've had influence of some sort on my own tastes, but I've always been such an eclectic reader, I'd be hard-pressed to put my finger on exactly what that would be. I went through genre phases, reading everything and anything in a genre that I could find until it became predictable, then I'd switch genres. The only genre I really haven't gone back to is fantasy, and that's mostly because I'd prefer to read several "normal length" books than one huge tomb. I do tend to prefer novels that stand alone, even when they're ultimately part of a series. And I don't mind if animals die in the end (even though it's sad) as long as someone survives in the end, much like you.

And now that I've written such a lengthy reply, I need to go get my own blog post done!

C R Ward said...

I used to read in genres too - I'd read Barbara Cartlands until I was sick of them, then Westerns, then mysteries . . . Now I find I have to be in the right mood for a particular kind of book.

Anonymous said...

i think i have to go read Mysterious island again. I'd forgotten all about it.

Benjamin Solah said...

R.L. Stine's Goosebumps influenced me a lot. It's what got me involved in reading, horror and attempting to write my own stories.

I still think, in terms of story telling, that they compete pretty well with even adult horror.

I plan to write my own YA horror one day.