Monday, January 11, 2010

That's A Bitch Move, Jo March

I was eating lunch the other day and had nothing to watch on my DVR (in case you didn't know, my job lets me work at home, which is just as awesome as you think it is and also full of more sweatpants than you'd guess). Typically I have a swath of TV shows that I tape purely for watching during my lunch break, but Castle is on hiatus as with everything else. Therefore I had to channel surf and I found Little Women. It was half an hour in but I hadn't seen it in a long time so I started watching.

Barring the fact that I forgot Christian Bale was in it

I love you even with your dickery

Along with Gabriel Burns, Susan Sarandon AND Claire Danes, I'd also forgotten how awesome it is. I taped it after my lunch break so I could finish watching it in the evening (which is why I only got 300 words written that night on my WIP. Yes, it was definitely Little Women and not Zombie shooting. Not. At. All)

On a side note Brother apparently says he's never seen Little Women before, evidenced by the fact when he came in he said "What is this crap? It looks stupid." Even though BETH HAD JUST DIED and IT WAS NOT STUPID!

On a side note off the first side note, whenever I think of Little Women I'm reminded of the Friends episode where Monica finds Stephen King's IT in her refrigerator. She discovers that Joey put it in the fridge because it had frightened him, which is apparently his usual solution for books that upset him. So Monica suggests that he reads Little Women instead. He goes through almost the whole book thinking Jo is a man and Laurie is a girl. At the end of the episode Joey is all upset that Beth died and Monica's solution is for him to put Little Women in the fridge.

Back to the first side note - I do think Brother has seen Little Women, he just probably doesn't remember.

Back to the main point of the post. I was thinking about how Jo was writing, more or less, genre fiction and Friedrich is all "oh it's good but I know you can do better" and blah blah blah and I'm all like "Maybe Jo wants to write about zombies and steampunk and maybe you should just shut your mouth Friedrich" but not really because it's Gabriel Byrne and I lurve him.

I love you D'Artagnan - I mean Gabriel.

So then Beth dies and it's sad (AND NOT STUPID) and Jo takes one night (HAH!) to write a new wonderful novel called *Gasp* Little Women (and I freak out because of the paradox of her writing the book that the movie is based on that I'm watching where she's writing a book and...well you get it. Mind Freak!)

And even with all of that other crap going through my head, the one thing I really come away thinking is that Jo is a piece of crap because apparently she can write both fiction AND non fiction.

I took a creative non fiction class in college. I was a senior and the next semester I would take my senior project class which involved Fiction writing and then a semester after that (because I needed 4.5 years to get enough credits to graduate so my last semester was filled with pure fun stuff including beginning fiction writing which I had skipped over originally when I went straight to intermediate fiction writing. Talk about an easy class. Beginning Fiction I mean) I would take an MFA fiction writing class even though I wasn't working on an MFA.

I'm totally losing myself in my own train of thoughts here. Anyway I took a single creative non fiction class. And I was HORRIBLE at it. Not only was I horrible at it, I didn't find it very fun. I didn't have anything worth writing about. And I didn't even want to write about me and my past - booooring - I wanted to write about made up crap.

The weird part is, I knew HOW to write good non fiction - I could recognize it when my classmates did it, and I could appreciate a good memoir. But for the life of me I just couldn't apply that to my own writing. I think a lot of the people in the class thought I was dumbish and couldn't believe my major emphasis was in creative writing (I know this is at least partially true because one of the girls in that class would also be in my senior project class which was fiction based and she flat out told me that my fiction was world's better than my non fiction.) My non-fiction work is the only writing that I've willfully destroyed.

I wonder if other writers have this trouble, or if it's just me? I'm not great at poetry, either, but I can pull some of it off. But not Jo March, ho no. Jo can write anything and everything and get it all published while simultaneously finding herself a man. Apparently she's like the Avatar of writers.

I would give much to be an airbender

So anyway, here's what all this rambling comes to: Little Women, I love you, but Jo March can suck it.


Anonymous said...

I choose Earth Bending all the way.

I bet she hand wrote that novel in one day too, which just seems like it would be physically impossible


Teebore said...

Man alive, I HATE creative non-fiction. One of my upper level creative writing classes in college was broken into three parts: fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and I could not stand the non-fiction part of it, so you're not alone in that regard.

Poetry I can handle; back in the day I wrote more poetry than fiction, but then again, what writer doesn't have a notebook or two of angsty poetry from when they were a teen they hope never sees the light of day? Then again again, I did win some local and regional poetry contests in high school, so hopefully that means some of my poetry was better than the "oh, that hot girl doesn't like me, my friends are mean, woe is me" stuff that probably filled most of those notebooks.

ANYWAYS, I think it takes someone with tremendous ego to write creative non-fiction. And I don't mean that negatively; I just think that unless you're the president or a genius or something, you REALLY have to believe that there is something in your relatively inconsequential life that is worth the time of other people when they read it.

Though blogging isn't too far removed from memoir, either. We're not writing about crap in our past (all the time, at least), but we are choosing to believe we have something worth saying that isn't fictional and that people we've never met might find value in it.

I will say that writing creative non-fiction really helped improve my writing style; because what I was writing about was boring (my life) I forced myself to make the writing itself more interesting. Even if the subject matter was boring, I didn't want the writing itself to be boring.

Finally, I still have a man-crush on Christian Bale regardless of his dickery, D'Artagnan is, indeed, the bomb, Jo March CAN suck it, and Brother's assessment of Little Women isn't too far off.

Now I must flee from hoards of angry women...

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

"I don't wanna lose your love toniiiight" is what I'm hearing as I agree with Brother and Teebore. I find/found Little Women boring and typical. I realize my uterus is forfeit in saying such a thing but I can't help it. There are many things women love which I do not...Little Women, Steel Magnolias, Shakespeare in Love, English Patient...etc.

Although, I do love Christian long as he doesn't smile. I heart Gabriel Byrne as well. I am going home and immediately putting The Man in the Iron Mask in the ol' dvd player. Then I'm watching Batman Begins/The Dark Knight...both or Equilibrium, I haven't watched that in a while.

As far as writing creative non-fiction: bleh! I hate it. I also have notebooks filled with teenage angsty poems and essays, riddled with salty teenage tears. I can't bring myself to destroy them, they're proof that I was once completely and utterly insane.

I may not love Little Women but I heart you...(don't kill me.)

Teebore said...

Oh man, the English Patient. In my quest to complete a collection of all the best picture winners, it's the only movie I'm considering skipping outright more than Forrest Gump.

I adore Shakespeare in Love though. It always makes me want to write by hand with sweeping music playing.

Patrick said...

Ok first off, I had just come in at a very strange part of the movie and thought you were watching some terrible halmark made for tv movie. Second, I have NOT seen little women and I will slap you if you insist such a thing again, insulting my memory for movies. Keep it up and I will make my own blog that bashes you!


P.S. I will *&@#$ SLAP YOU!

Falen said...

Teebore & Palindrome - I do not have any notebooks full of angsty teen poetry. I skipped that phase and went right to fan fiction.

And sorry, little women rocks.
However I really have no opinion one way or another about Shakespeare in love and have never seen the English patient or steel magnolias.

Twin - yes it was handwritten. With ink quills and all that.

Teebore - I completely agree with the ego thing. However, blogging I think is a bit different because I believe most bloggers (the good ones anyway) try to entertain their readers. I don't know if that's true of the non-fictioners or if it's just a form of self flagellation (however I met some really great writers in that class that were really great people...)

Palindrome - I would never hate you. And we've disagreed about some movies in the past. The friendship will push through!

Patrick - you can try...

Teebore said...

Ah, yes, FanFic: the OTHER form of teeth-cutting writing. :)

Joan Crawford said...

I would totally be a water-bender. You can control blood! That seals the deal for me: My own zombie horde.

Falen said...

Joan - yeah the bloodbending is indeed quite a perk, as is the healing. How come all the bending gets a cool side technique, lightning, metal bending, healing AND blood bending, but air bending doesn't really have jack?

Teebore said...

You can fly when you're an air bender...that's pretty cool. But not really the same kind of "secondary" or advanced power as the others...

Falen said...

exactly - they should be able to do something like... well i can't think of anything that i'm sure they can't already do with the primary bending...

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