Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Vampire Trend

It is a nasty, damp, steamy day out there. We had thunderstorms last night, not the air-clearing kind but the clinging kind that come in, rumble, rain and then evaporate, leaving the air heavier and stickier than ever.

It's grey and gloomy and feels like a 'stay in bed' type of morning. Unfortunately, I have work commitments and I had to rouse myself. I also had to rouse Sausage who does NOT like to get out of bed until he's ready. He growls gently at me when I make him get up. It makes me laugh. I don't think he means to be funny.

Things are going a little better with the dog. I think he only barks a little in the crate and settles down to sleep after he realizes he's in there for a while. At least, this is what I've convinced myself. There's less guilt involved in that. Doggie day care didn't work out. For one thing, they never called me back and, for another, I realized they'd need proof that Sausage had his vaccinations as a puppy and, naturally, I don't have that proof.

So, it's just me and Sausage for a few more days. We have a routine now, at least I think we do. I get home from work and we walk. He hates walking because he's a lazy dachshund. Once he's done his business, he doesn't see the point of walking anymore. I think exercise is good for him. In disagreement, there will be times during our walks in which he will sit himself down on the grass and refuse to move. Then, when I make him get up, he gives me disgusted looks and trots along until he decides to sit down again. Like I said, we have a routine.

Of course, having a routine with Sausage means my regular routine is a little off-kilter. I haven't been able to write in a while because of house-buying, Washington D.C.-visiting, Sausage-sitting and various other interruptions. Of course, I do recognize the fact that I could still find time to write but...I'm not. I hate that I'm not. I hate that the past few years have spurned a flurry of books from me and this past year has been very thin on the writing front. I love to write. I want to write. It's just been a bad year as far as getting anywhere with my writing. I can blame the economy a little for that. I can also blame my writing for that. I'm writing what I want, not what's popular.

At the moment, I should be writing vampire novels, it seems. That's the trend. People give credit to Twilight and Stephanie Meyer's other vampire books. I don't. Vampires weren't invented by Meyer, they were just Victorian-ized, stripped of their natural eroticism and made sparkley. I'm reading Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books at the moment and enjoying them immensely. Now these books are what vampire books should be: Sexy, funny, witty and clever. While I know the actual writing in them isn't perfect, the beauty of Harris' books is that I don't care. I'm so taken in by the story and the characters that I forget to notice the writing. To me, that's the mark of a good writer, not necessarily the structure, the words, the grammar and the formal side of the craft.

What I love about Charlaine Harris' books is that she has fun writing them. You can jump right into the story and when you're reading them, it seems perfectly natural that vampires have come out of the coffin and are fighting for equal rights in society, that shapeshifters are lurking in the shadows, trying to hide what they really are by keeping a human form, that mythical creatures lurk in the woods. I enjoy reading about Sookie because she acts like a real human; yes, she makes some unwise choices because she's a little naive but...I find it perfectly believable that she would fall in love with a vampire. I also rather like that though she loves the Vampire Bill, she's still horribly disgusted with the more bloodthirsty vamps and the fact that they're know...dead. She's also declared that she adores sunshine and has no intention of becoming a vampire. I love her for this. Unlike, say, Bella Swann from the Twilight novels who fell for a vampire, is enamored with their beauty and was already begging to be turned into a vamp at the end of the first novel. Sookie also can take care of herself or, at least, thinks she can and tries admirably. She doesn't always needs to be rescued. I like that in a heroine.

Anyway, these are only two of the vampire series flooding the market. In the teen market, in particular, there are multiple other series or stand-alone books on the Barnes and Noble display tables. Next season on TV, a series called The Vampire Diaries is being filmed for the CW network. Now there's talk about a remake of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. If you've seen the first movie, you'll know it was awful. It was bad. It was campy crap that only has significance because it was the springboard for the brilliant TV series by Joss Whedon.

Of course, Joss isn't going to be involved in the movie. From what I'm reading, he wasn't asked and the studio responsible for the stupid idea is hoping to jump on the vampire band wagon. Also, knowing what I know about Joss, he probably said, "what a dumb idea," shrugged, and continued filming Cabin in the Woods or whatever is the name of his new movie. You see, Joss probably knows what all we Buffy fans know. Buffy was only Buffy because of Joss. Take the Whedon out the equation and essentially what you have is...the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie with Donald Sutherland, Luke Perry and Kristy Swanson which...sucked. Joss wrote the script for that movie and was essentially taken out of the equation because the studio so heavily rewrote his script. When the movie bombed, Joss took his idea and made the series which, to me, is still some of the best television ever created.

I know I won't be going to see that movie. What's the point? I've lived in Buffy's world and it's in Sunnydale, California which, blew up at the end of the series. Buffy and the slayers are all around the world these days. That's the Buffy I know. It'd be a little like going to see a remake of Star Wars in which Luke Skywalker was allowed to exist but there could be no Han Solo, Princess Leia or Darth Vadar because the studio didn't have the rights to the characters. Dumb, right?

I could rant all day about this but it won't do any good. Movie studios are greedy. They've long forgotten to make movies for the filmgoers, concentrating instead of the cheapest way to make a lot of money. Fortunately, there are talents like Joss Whedon out there to give us what we really need: Good entertainment that actually makes us think a little at the same time we're laughing.

I've digressed from my original point which is why I stopped writing for a while. I want to wait and see when the wheel of trends turns, what will be next. We've had pirates, wizards and dragons recently...I'm curious to see what's next to be in vogue. Then again, if I get my act together, maybe I can try creating something original that sparks a million other ideas.

You just never know.

Happy Wednesday

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